Do you work with victims of trafficking or vulnerable adults and children?


There is currently an increased risk alert for face to face interpreters being recruited by traffickers to access victims of trafficking who are accessing support. Clear Voice was the first interpreting agency to communicate this across the sector and the guidance on dealing with interpreters included in that initial email from us was distributed widely. This guidance is below and now includes additional tips on telephone interpreting for our clients where this is relevant.


It’s important to note that while an alert has been raised, the overall risk of this is still low.


Recruitment process 


All Language Service Providers should be ensuring interpreters are well vetted before beginning work with them, including full references, qualifications and DBS checks.


Unfortunately, even interpreters that have cleared the recruitment process may still be coerced or involved in trafficking gangs, so it’s important to educate your staff to be mindful and observant when using face to face interpreters.


Face to face appointments 


  • Never leave the interpreter alone with a victim, especially in waiting rooms or reception areas.
  • This includes not just visually but also within earshot to ensure no subtle communication is taking place.
  • Please ensure victims leave at different times to an interpreter.
  • Be wary of any interpreting activity that seems out of the norm or not in keeping with what is being asked to be interpreted.
  • If a victim looks distressed in the presence of an interpreter, cease the session immediately.
  • If you have any doubts or hesitation about the quality of an interpreter, please tell your language service provider immediately.


Being vigilant with telephone interpreting.


The risk is less for telephone interpreting as it is harder for an interpreter to build rapport and to share their contact details over the phone.  Interpreters are often chosen at random for calls and they can be located across the UK or sometimes internationally.


However, there are ways to be more vigilant:

  • Don’t share your client’s contact details unless necessary.
  • Be mindful of interpreters having conversations with the client outside of your instructions, ask the interpreter to interpret what was said.
  • Check in with the client to see how the interpreting was after the call. You can ask if they want the same interpreter next time or if they’d prefer someone different.
  • If in doubt, speak to us about having the call interpreted or transcribed to confirm what was said to your client.
  • Feel free to raise any concerns with us, formally or informally. We can increase our monitoring of an interpreter to check the quality of their calls.



What do we do? 


Our system allows you to make third party calls without having to share your client’s contact details. This is not always the case in the sector, many other language service providers require the interpreter to do the dialling out.


DBS checks are compulsory as part of our recruitment process. We ask for work history and do reference and qualification checks as standard. When we are recruiting we often ask for recommendations from our experienced and trusted interpreters. We have a quality assurance process that regularly conducts random checks on calls and records the results against the interpreter.


Our interpreters sign a confidentiality agreement and, via their contract of supply, agree to adhere to GDPR legislation.


We keep a loyal base of interpreters. Over 65% of our interpreters have worked with us for 3 years of more, and these are the interpreters that take the majority of our calls and bookings.


As we are a social enterprise with links to Migrant Help, we are committed to improving the lives of asylum seekers by helping them into work once they get refugee status. Often this means they have less work experience and limited training, so we are exploring the most robust way of offering these opportunities while also being mindful of the needs of our customers. We work with our partners to get recommended referrals in the first instance. Then the potential interpreters go through as many checks as possible including additional references, as well as bespoke training. We work with the International School of Linguists to get discounts on qualifications. Finally, we monitor their calls and get feedback from customers.


If you have any questions about the above or how we do things at Clear Voice, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0800 520 0380 or [email protected] .