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Human Trafficking: Refuges

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many beds are available for victims of trafficking at the Poppy Project; and how many new beds have been provided in each of the last five years; (243311)

(2) how many victims of trafficking have been refused a place at the Poppy Project due to a lack of available beds in each of the last five years;

(3) what the occupancy levels were of the Poppy Project in each of the last five years.

The Government have funded the Poppy project to provide specialist, high-level support to victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation since 2003. During the piloting of the project between 2003 and 2005, the service provided 25 supported accommodation places on a rolling basis. Funding was increased in 2006 to provide 25 acute places, 10 resettlement places and an outreach service. In 2007 and 2008 the project was provided with an additional small flexible budget to help with capacity building so victims can be temporarily accommodated in other refuges where necessary.

The Poppy project has supported 401 women since it opened in 2003; 210 received supported accommodation and 191 received outreach support. A breakdown on occupancy levels by year is not available. Data on the number of victims that have not been able to access the Poppy project due it reaching capacity in the last five years are not available.

We are currently tendering for a national support service model for victims of human trafficking, which will include an increased number of accommodation places from spring 2009.