Monday, 21 January 2013



Hassanat fled Nigeria in 2006 with her one year old daughter, who was threatened with Female Genital Cutting (FGC). She was trafficked to Britain and has been living here for 6 and a half years, and is currently living in Newcastle. She now has three young daughters who have grown up here and become part of the community. Despite coming here seeking safety, the British government now wants to deport Hassanat and her daughters back to Nigeria where they have no family and friends and will still be under threat of FGC and the ongoing problems and conflict in Nigeria.

Hassanat was a victim of human trafficking, she was trafficked to Britain from Nigeria. Yet despite the current government’s promises on tackling human trafficking Hassanat and her children are the ones who are being criminalised as the Home Office has declared that they are to be deported back to Nigeria on 1st February 2013.

The British government committed to opt into the EU’s directive on human trafficking in July 2011. The directive is focused on 'prevention and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims...The adoption follows a Commission Directive proposal...with binding legislation to prevent trafficking, to effectively prosecute criminals, and to better protect the victims, in line with the highest European standards.'

Mark Harper MP, minister of state for immigration and chair of the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group (IDMG) on human trafficking states that ‘The fight against those that seek any opportunity to exploit others is one that must be tackled locally, nationally and internationally.’

In the IDMG’s report published in October 2012 they state that:

'Fuelled primarily by those who seek to make a profit from the misery of others, human trafficking is the vilest of crimes and equates to modern day slavery. Men, women and children from across the world are exploited and forced into performing services or other work against their will. In some instances the exploitation can be experienced over a prolonged period of time. Those who are exploited may face years of sexual abuse, forced labour, or domestic servitude and, in many instances never fully recover from their traumatic experience.'

Why are Hassanat and her daughters (7 and a half years old, 5 years old and 3 years old), victims of trafficking, being punished and forced to endure even more traumatic experiences? The government has some very fine words to say about protecting victims. We demand that they put these words into practice and give Hassanat and her daughters indefinite leave to remain in Britain. 

Hassanat explained her situation:

‘I have been here for over 6 years. For me I think it’s unfair to deport me and my children. I haven’t committed a crime or anything, I don’t know why the government hates me. I have 3 children and in Nigeria they do FGC and so I’m so worried about my children. But they don’t believe anything I say. In Nigeria they believe the man should take the children, so I would lose them even if I went to court. There is nowhere I can go to, nowhere to hide. I have lost my Mum, I have lost my Dad.’

Take action

Contact British Airways and ask them not to carry Hassanat Omeneke Aliyu (Home Office ref: A1432864/5) and her children against their will. Read a guide to airline campaigning here.

The flight details are flight BA75 (to Lagos, Nigeria) at 10.30am on 1st February 2013.

You can write to, fax or email:

British Airways
Relations (S506)
PO Box 5619
CO10 2PG

Telephone: 0844 493 0787

Fax: 01787 883 195

Web form:

No deportations! Hassanat and her children must stay!

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