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Vulnerable EU woman Case Study

1 December 2016

This year the AIRE centre is taking part in the Big Give Christmas challenge, read about one of the type of case we are raising funds for


We are raising funds to continue our work supporting vulnerable EU women, many of whom have complex cases involving multiple forms of abuse and rights denial.


Every year we receive thousands of requests for advice, here is just one of the cases that we have worked on.

MZ is a female Latvian national who was a victim of sexual trafficking in the UK.

Following years of abuse both from traffickers in the UK, and in her native Latvia, she was arrested and detained facing deportation to Latvia. The AIRE centre was able to prove that given the recognition that she was a victim of trafficking, her co-operation with the police, her mental illness and alcohol dependency, she is extremely vulnerable and at risk of reprisals/re-trafficking if she were to return to Latvia.

A refusal to grant a residence permit to MZ would essentially leave her with the choice of remaining destitute in the UK or facing a real risk of reprisals/re-trafficking upon deportation to Latvia.

The AIRE centre provided pro bono legal advice for her case, following which she was granted discretionary leave to remain in the UK meaning she was able to access social benefits, the health service, and was also able to find legal and gainful employment.

This case is helping establish that even employment which was exploitative and unlawful means the trafficking victim is still a worker for the purposes of EU law and therefore, has free movement and residence rights.

If you are able to share or to donate then please do so, you can find all the details on our fundraising page here.

We would like to extend a thanks to all of those who support our work, and a special thank you to Pilgrim Trust for generously match funding our donations during the Christmas Challenge.

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