Secretary of State found to discriminate against asylum seekers with dependent children who received less financial support


The High Court has today ruled that the Home Secretary discriminated against victims of modern slavery with dependent children and ordered her to pay damages for breaches of the claimants’ Convention rights.

The claimants are victims of sex trafficking.  Both have dependent children. Under the Home Secretary’s policy, they were ineligible for a dependent’s allowance because they had claimed asylum. The court accepted that the difference of treatment between asylum seeking victims of trafficking with dependent children and non-asylum seeking victims of trafficking with dependent children was contrary to article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The court also found that the treatment constituted indirect sex discrimination, given that women were disproportionately affected by the exclusion.

The Home Secretary indicated that the ruling would require her to pay additional sums totalling around £5 million per year.

Chris Buttler QC and Ayesha Christie acted for the claimants.

Useful link(s)


Please find the court order here.