Author :JAMES TAPSFIELD, MAILONLINE POLITICAL EDITOR, IN NIGERIA
The Prime Minister is to unveil a series of commitments to cut ‘illegal and unsafe’ inflows from West Africa.
Nigeria is believed to be the fifth-largest country of origin for victims of modern slavery in Britain – a cause that Mrs May has championed for years.
The vile trade sees men, women and children tricked into making perilous journeys to Europe before being abused, treated as forced labour, or pushed into prostitution.
Mrs May, who will discuss the issue in talks with President Muhammadu Buhari tomorrow, said: ‘Modern Slavery is one of the greatest human rights abuses of our time and the UK is a world leader in making it an international mission to end this heinous crime.
‘Today we are stepping up our partnership with Nigerian authorities to find traffickers and bring them to justice.
And because this is an international problem which needs international response, we are also launching a new project with France to strengthen border cooperation to prevent trafficking along key migration routes towards Libya and Europe.
‘But as well as targeting the smugglers and traffickers that cruelly exploit people for financial gain, it’s vital that we support the victims who have suffered enormous trauma and are at high risk of being re-trafficked, and that is an important part of the support we are announcing today.’
Among the measures being outlined by Mrs May is new support to help migrants and modern slavery victims rebuild their lives in Nigeria
The UK will also help Nigeria and Niger prevent trafficking across their border.
Support will be provided for up to 1,700 migrants and modern slavery victims returning to Nigeria from Libya, with counselling to deal with the distress of their ordeal and training in business and vocational skills to help them get jobs.
A new project – led by the UK and France – will help Nigeria and Niger strengthen border cooperation to block trafficking along routes towards Europe.