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2017 (Narrative date)

The UK National Crime Agency estimates 3,309 potential victims of human trafficking came into contact with the State or an NGO in 2014. The latest government statistics derived from the UK National Referral Mechanism in 2014 reveal 2,340 potential victims of trafficking from 96 countries of origin, of whom 61 percent were female and 29 percent were children. Of those identified through the NRM, the majority were adults classified as victims of sexual exploitation followed by adults exploited in the domestic service sector and other types of labour exploitation. The largest proportion of victims was from Albania, followed by Nigeria, Vietnam, Romania and Slovakia.

Olabisi’s initial claim to asylum was refused and, although she accessed legal representation to appeal this decision, she chose to leave Unseen’s project and her whereabouts are currently unknown.

I think I am 19. I am originally from Nigeria, but I had to leave my village when my family were killed for being Christians. I fled to Auchi where I begged on the streets to survive and then moved to Lagos. 

I met a man who promised to find me work in the UK.

He gave me a passport and paid for my flight to the UK. A man was waiting for me at the airport. He took me back to his flat and made me have sex with him lots of times. I heard him discussing selling me, but in the end he decided to keep me for himself. I was told that if I tried to escape or ruin his reputation he would kill me and sell my body to people who did voodoo for money.

One day in the park I met some other people from Nigeria. I managed to tell them what was happening to me and they urged me to tell the police.

As told to Unseen