AFRUCA’s 7 Days Activism Against Human Trafficking kicked off on Saturday 29 June showcasing AFRUCA service users, who are survivors of trafficking, on stage in a spectacular African theatre styled drama titled: ‘The Big Festival’.
Lola Gani-Yusuf, Anti-Trafficking Coordinator at AFRUCA said: “The 7 days Activism campaign is aimed at increasing awareness of the impact of human trafficking among African communities across London and Greater Manchester. We want African communities in these regions to partner with AFRUCA in ensuring that no African child is exploited either for sexual exploitation, as a domestic servant or criminalised as a result of engaging in illicit criminal activities by their traffickers whilst in the UK.”
Some of the key activities of the week include a major seminar at the House of Commons on the 1st of July, hosted by Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Nigeria. A second seminar will be held on the 3rd July, in Manchester and chaired by Ian Rush, Chair (Chair, Manchester Safeguarding Children Board). There will also be daily road shows in the two regions.
According to the latest figures from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), Nigeria currently has one of the highest numbers of people referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM), a system that is meant to identify, protect and provide appropriate support to potential victims of trafficking. Uganda, Sierra Leone, Gambia and Ghana were among top African source countries for potential victims of trafficking as well.
The report further highlighted that majority of African people referred to the NRM received a negative ‘Reasonable Grounds’ and ‘Conclusive decisions. As a result of the new changes to legal aid funding, trafficking victims will be denied access to legal aid at a time that is most needed.
“With the recent changes to legal aid and immigration laws, it is evident that potential victims of trafficking might be denied access to legal support and other services at a time that is most needed,” said Debbie Ariyo (OBE), Founder and Executive Director at AFRUCA.
The events holding in both London and Manchester hope to bring together key stakeholders to highlight the issue, promote knowledge and understanding of the impact of trafficking and exploitation on victims and draw up a joint community and other stakeholders responses recommendations that will help to prevent human trafficking and improve protection for victims.
Note to Editors
- AFRUCA – Africans Unite Against Child Abuse is the premier charity promoting the rights and welfare of African children in the UK·
- AFRUCA has its Head Office in London, a newly established Centre for African Children and Families in Manchester and projects working with faith organisations across Yorkshire.
- AFRUCA is an African-led charity campaigning against the trafficking of African children and young people into the country and providing direct support to victims of trafficking.
- We work closely with others to sensitise the African community- both in the UK, other countries in Europe, and in Africa – to the issues, and influence relevant governments’ policies and regulatory action. Since our inception in 2001, over 260 young people have benefitted from our services to support child victims of trafficking.
- AFRUCA is also the lead organisation in the Black community addressing the over-representation of African children in the UK care system.
- AFRUCA is supported by a range of UK donors, trusts and foundations in carrying out its work. These include Comic Relief, Esmee Fairnbarn Foundation, Awards for All, the Department for Education, The Big Lottery Fund, John Ellerman Foundation, the Tudor Trust as well as Trust for London.
For more information about our work, visit our website at www.afruca.org. For inquiries please contact Lola Gani-Yusuf, Anti-Trafficking Coordinator at AFRUCA on 02077042261.