Latest modern slavery fight updates -

U-Turn on Deportation of Nigerian Trafficking Victim

  • Published on
    November 27, 2018
  • News Source Image
  • Category:
    Human Trafficking, Law & Policy, Survivor Stories
Hero Banner

The UK Home Office has made a u-turn in its decision to deport a Nigerian woman who was trafficked to the UK for sexual exploitation.

Mary Adenguba Johnson had been branded an illegal immigrant and told to leave the country despite being married to a UK national and a recognized victim of human trafficking by the government.

“I thank God,” she said. “I should not have been treated like that by the Home Office. I had no choice, I had to keep fighting. It gave me anxiety, severe depression, nightmares and panic attacks. But I feel relieved now.”

HuffPost reports:

The decision brings to an end 14 years of turmoil for the modern slavery victim who suffers from severe anxiety and PTSD as a result of her traumatic past.

The ruling has also been welcomed by her British husband Barry Johnson, who faced a forced move to Nigeria to remain with his wife even though he has never set foot in the country and it was unclear whether he could legally remain there.

Barry, 71, told HuffPost UK: “Mary should have been given asylum in the first place as a victim of trafficking and particularly as the victim of trafficking within the UK.

“It’s complicated to look at reasons why victims struggle to get out of that situation, but one of them is the fact that the Home Office then prefers to treat them as an illegal immigrant rather than as a victim of trafficking.”

Adenugba Johnson explained that she had been tricked into coming to the UK in 2004 upon becoming homeless when her mother, two sisters, and her daughter were been killed in an explosion in Lagos.

“I was brought in by a generous man named Uncle Kay but I did not know that he was just going to take me to be used as a harlot. So that is how I was put in that situation.”

Shadow immigration minister Afzal Khan MP backed Adenugba Johnson’s case, adding that she should never have had to go through this ordeal by the Home Office.

“It is utterly unacceptable that the government only responded when Mary’s case got media attention. This is part of a clear pattern of high profile cases getting a swift resolution, while the government sweep widespread injustices under the carpet,” he said.


Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This week

From Ecuador's fields to global supply chains: Freedom United tackles modern slavery

As hundreds of Ecuadorian workers await a verdict in a milestone modern slavery case, Freedom United's Executive Director, Joanna Ewart-James, sat down with German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle News to explain modern slavery in supply chains and everyday products. Chances are you've used a forced labor product The Deutsche Welle report follows landmark rulings on cases of exploitation in Ecuador at Furukawa Plantaciones C.A., a Japanese company that

| Thursday June 20, 2024

Read more