PRESS RELEASE 11 December 2017
NEW AFRUCA PROJECT TACKLES DOMESTIC SLAVERY IN ENGLAND
AFRUCA has received a new grant from the Home Office to help address the growing problem of child trafficking for domestic slavery in England. Our experience of working with victims of trafficking at AFRUCA mirrors statistics provided by the National Crime Agency where Nigeria has remained consistently within the top five source countries with the highest numbers of potential victims of trafficking into the country. The £47,000 grant will enable AFRUCA to work from December till June 2018 specifically in the Nigerian community in both London and Manchester to address the issue of domestic slavery, the terrible impact on victims, including children and how to improve protection and safeguarding. As part of this six-month project, AFRUCA will recruit and train a team of Community Ambassadors and Champions, to reach thousands of Nigerians in London and Manchester to help propagate the anti -slavery message and create a ripple effect of change in the best interests of victims.
Since its inception in 2001, AFRUCA has worked with over 500 children and young people who were trafficked into the UK. More than 60% of these were trafficked for domestic slavery and most are of Nigerian origin. Victims experience terrible suffering ranging from physical abuse, different forms of emotional abuse, neglect and even sexual assault. Most victims worked with by AFRUCA display different types of long term mental health problems including post-traumatic stress disorder and long term physical health problems. Most of our users were denied access to education, which ironically is the main reason they were deceived into coming to the UK by their traffickers.
The growing phenomenon of human trafficking involving Nigerian nationals in the UK is disconcerting especially viewed in relation to recent accounts coming out of Libya where Africans including Nigerians are being openly traded as slaves. Debbie Ariyo OBE, AFRUCA Founder and CEO said: “The terrible experiences of children and young people who have been through domestic slavery in the UK are a driving force for us in launching this programme. It cannot be right that children are enslaved and exploited this way in the 21st century. With this project, we hope we can help to bring an end to this practice.” Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, Victoria Atkins, said: “Modern slavery is an abhorrent crime that affects individuals and communities across the globe, and this Government is absolutely committed to stamping it out. “We are taking strong action to tackle all forms of slavery. This includes introducing the Modern Slavery Act, which gives law enforcement agencies the tools to tackle the issue, including a maximum life sentences for perpetrators and enhanced protection for victims. “But legislation alone cannot eliminate this scourge.
The work of charities like AFRUCA to support and advocate for the rights of victims – particularly children, who are among the most vulnerable in our society – is absolutely vital. I am delighted that Home Office funding is helping AFRUCA expand its excellent work, and I look forward to seeing the results of this new project to raise awareness of the issue of domestic servitude in the UK’s major cities.”
- AFRUCA is the premier charity working to protect and promote the rights of African children in the UK. We provide a place for children and young people who have been trafficked to access vital services in a culturally appropriate and adaptive environment.
- AFRUCA has supported over 500 victims of trafficking since inception, providing tailored individual support, with a focus on practical, mental health and advocacy needs.
- AFRUCA’s Domestic Slavery project forms part of wider Home Office campaign to increase awareness of the Modern Slavery and increase the number of cases reported to the Modern Slavery Helpline.
For further information about AFRUCA and our Modern Slavery Project visit: www.afruca.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org