The UK government is endorsing a new ad campaign aimed at stopping Nigerian women from migrating to Britain.
It’s a controversial strategy, framed around getting Nigerian women to stay home instead of “risking a life of modern slavery” and falling prey to traffickers during their journey. In other words, the implication is that no migration means no human trafficking.
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The Department of International Development is behind the new campaign, which will see posters placed in schools, churches, and marketplaces.
“Together we are tackling the root causes of dangerous migration to prevent vulnerable women and girls from becoming targeted by traffickers,” explained Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary.
“The benefits of this will be far-reaching – preventing regional instability and helping us tackle modern slavery here in the UK.”
The Independent reports:
The campaign focuses on “aspirational stories of women who have established successful careers in Nigeria”, according to the Department for International Development.
The Not for Sale campaign is supported by UK aid and involves the National Crime Agency and the UK’s Joint Border Task Force as well as Nigerian law enforcement.
One of the stories featured in the posters, TV and radio adverts relates to Gift Jonathan, a single mother who was raped and tortured while attempting to get to Europe but has since returned to Nigeria and found work as a pastry chef.
Gift’s story continues as she says, “Three years ago, I was a single mother with two children living with my widowed mother.”
“Things were so hard that when my friend told me about travelling to Germany, guy I moved! We only made it to Libya. I was sold, raped and tortured. I saw many Nigerians die including my friend Iniobong.”
“Today I’m a baker in Benin making enough money to take care of my family. My boys will not grow up to be ashamed of their mother. My name is Gift Jonathan and I am not for sale.”
Nigerians are among the top five nationalities of victims of modern slavery in Europe and the UK. Last year alone, 208 Nigerians were identified as potential victims of trafficking in the UK.
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