While it has made life hard for victims of trafficking and people smuggling, the hostile environment has created a fertile environment for modern slavery and those who prosper from it. Traffickers know that the state effectively colludes in keeping their victims silent. Fearful of deportation and the traffickers’ threats, migrant victims of modern slavery are deterred from approaching the authorities – so many disappear into a hinterland of exploitation and fear.
Yes, because we treat criminals as criminals, anything bad that subsequently happens to them is our fault. It's a child's way of thinking.
The hostile environment is a failure of policy and humanity – and a stain on this country’s hard-earned good reputation for tackling modern slavery. We need to see a sincere change of heart and direction from the government, including the institution of safe routes for migration across the Channel and guaranteed support for victims of trafficking from the moment they are identified.
These people won't be satisfied until they've opened up our country to every Third World country that exists, will they?