Interpreting in a Modern slavery and Human trafficking setting (part 2)

Continuing From Part – 1… Interpreting in a Modern slavery and Human trafficking setting (part 2)

Before the interview started, I prepared myself with a pen, paper and hard dictionary, just in case, because I understand that we are not allowed to use our phones during interviews (if the handset is not switched off, it could interfere with the recording machine).

Our interview lasted over 1 hour and 30 minutes. The suspect was taken back to his cell so police officers could have some discussions. I do not remember how long I was waiting for and then the suspect was interviewed for the second time. After the second interview, the suspect asked to speak to his relative, so I had to stand next to him at the custody desk and interpret simultaneously everything that he was saying to his relative. This conversation was very short and brief. I was asked to go to a consultation room where I waited for the police to make a decision. In this case, the suspect was charged and detained by police.

This means that he was kept at police custody until the following day when he appeared in front of magistrates.

I was then asked to assist by attending the police station the next morning. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the suspects are not being transported to Courts, but they appear in front of magistrates by video link instead. The interpreter can interpret from a courtroom or from a police station. In my case, I attended the police station the following morning for 09:30am. The suspect had a private consultation with his solicitor again, and then he appeared in front of magistrates where he was asked to identify himself and to state whether he wished to indicate a plea of guilty or not guilty. By pleading guilty, the suspect is admitting guilt. This will lead to the decision being made on sentence, whether to sentence immediately, to ask probation for reports or, in more serious cases, to send to the Crown Court for sentencing. If the suspect pleads not guilty, the case will be adjourned for a trial, requiring the suspect to return to court at later date for the witnesses to give evidence in the case.

Maybe you would like to know what happened to potential victims who were identified in the suspect’s house. The victims of modern slavery and human trafficking were taken away to a secure location where Red Cross staff, interpreters and Police had further discussions with them. Survivors of human trafficking and exploitation are very vulnerable and need help within the first few days. This help and longer-term support can be provided immediately from a range of Red Cross services. The Red Cross’ Your Space programme provides accommodation, advice and support to trafficked people right after they have left exploitation.

Survivors of trafficking and slavery are people who have been exploited for others’ personal gain. The trauma they experience can have lasting impacts on their mental and physical health, wellbeing, and ability to rebuild their lives.

I am very lucky that I was given this opportunity to interpret on this case. It would not be possible without completing my DCI studies with ISL.

Thank you


To find out more information, please follow the following links:

Modern Slavery Act:

Human trafficking:

Red Cross:


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