Will clamp down Nigerian trafficking: Kevin Hyland

Kevin Hyland
Kevin Hyland

The first independent anti-slavery commissioner’s top priority will be to clamp down on the problem of Nigerians being trafficked to the UK.

Speaking to BBC,Kevin Hyland said it was “deeply concerning” that hundreds of Nigerians were brought in every year for prostitution or forced labour.

Mr Hyland said the problem of such exploitation was “enormous”.

The Home Office said it was “committed to tackling modern slavery” and was addressing specific issues in Nigeria.

The commissioner, who has only been in post for six months, says he can’t think of anything more worrying than women and children being raped and forced into domestic servitude reported BBC.

NCA figures showshow that more than 2,000 potential trafficking victims were referred to the authorities in 2014 – 244 of whom were from Nigeria, a 31 per cent increase from the previous year. The highest number of potential victims were identified as being from Albania.

Campaigners believe the real figure of potential trafficking victims from Nigeria could be much higher, however.

Mr Hyland, the former head of the Metropolitan Police’s human trafficking unit, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I am extremely concerned about this. And we’re talking about several hundred every year.

“This isn’t just a one-off – it’s continuous – so the treatment of these people, what they go through, is actually a very serious crime, so for me it’s a big problem.

“But also I think the fact that there is a demand for this kind of exploitation in the United Kingdom really concerns me, that there are people who will want to buy sex, will want to exploit, will want to have children as what are current-day slaves, so that is a really serious problem.”