Not long before the 2010 general election, I attended a meeting for domestic violence liaison workers in East Anglia at which a straw poll was taken on whether the Oakington Immigration Detention Centre should be shut, as was being advocated by Cambridge’s MP, Julian Huppert.
Every single liaison worker there, the general mood being vaguely left-of-centre, said they wanted the camp to remain open, because otherwise vulnerable people – mostly women and children – would be exploited and possibly abused; ie trafficked.
As recent child grooming trials show, victims of this vile trade are often trafficked internally; but many are also brought in and their abusers are enabled by Britain’s immigration laws.
Three cases in particular serve to illustrate this: I chose them because they are the most recent three I became aware of.
- An unnamed deaf girl has told a court how she was trafficked from Pakistan, age 10, to be a slave and was not only financially exploited for a decade but also raped by her "employers", Ilyas and Tallat Ashar.
- trafficked into the UK by a gang intending to harvest her organs. Bhirti Patel (right) of children’s rights group Ecpat UK commented that "It's unlikely that a trafficker is going to take this risk and bring just one child into the UK. It is likely there was a group."
- A Chilean woman was trafficked to the UK by a Turkish gang to work as a prostitute. The woman is being deported back to Chile while members of the gang who trafficked her are not being deported.
People who stand for unchecked immigration label their opponents as swivel-eyed racists and far-right activists, but the most cursory look over just these three examples given above shows that a major part of the reason we oppose open-door immigration is that the door is open also to traffickers. Stop the traffic: guard the door.
Deaf girl tells court of "decade of rape and beatings" - The Telegraph
Somalia: girl trafficked into UK for organs harvesting - Somaliland Sun
Sex worker who helped jail gang behind brothels to be deported - Human Trafficking Foundation