Case study created in Collaboration with the Bristol Law Centre with thanks to Nathan FitzPatrick and Thea Grattidge.
Nina, 28, is an Algerian National. In Algeria she worked as a receptionist for a local travel advice agency, however this company went bankrupt and she desperately sought work in order to provide financial assistance for herself and her elderly grandmother.
Nina struggled to find work and was headhunted by a company who promised her work as a hotel receptionist in England. She was excited to move to a new country where her income would be better and where she could provide money for her grandmother. She was told that the hotel would sort out her visa and travel.
Nina was trafficked into the UK and forced into sexual-exploitation by a group made up primarily of other Algerian nationals. Two years after first arriving in the UK, she managed to escape her situation and inform the police. They put her in touch with a charity who provided her with emergency housing in a safehouse for victims of trafficking. The charity put her in touch with a law firm who helped her prepare an asylum application. During this time Nina was not allowed to work and her mental health deteriorated as a result of her grandmother’s sudden death. She felt scared about entering male-dominated spaces and felt more and more socially isolated.
The Home Office denied her asylum application on the grounds that they could not find any record of the travel advice company that she previously worked for. They also said that their researchers investigated the area of Algeria where she originated from, and that it was deemed a safe and reasonable place for her to live. Nina is terrified of being sent back as she is certain her captors had something to do with her grandmother’s death. Nina wants to appeal the Home Office’s decision, but the law firm she originally worked with don’t have the capacity to open a new case for her.