Friday, July 22, 2011

61 Nigerians Deported from U.K

SIXTY-ONE Nigerians, comprising three children, 47 males and 11 females were yesterday deported from the United Kingdom (UK)  and handed over to
the Nigerian Immigration officials at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

The development came as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) expressed commitment to new ways of fighting the menace of human trafficking in Nigeria.

The immigration officer, who received the deportees in the early hour of yesterday, said they were  rounded up in various parts of UK for immigration related offences.

When asked what those immigration offences could be, he said some of them were staying illegally in the UK. He added that the UK government has tasked its border agency with carrying out an intense period of enforcement activity over the summer as they are determined to create a hostile environment, which makes it harder than ever for illegal immigrants to come to the UK and put down roots.

The officer said anywhere in the world, illegal immigrants put untold pressure on public services at a time when countries cannot afford to support people not entitled to it.

“That’s why the UK Border Agency is working day in, day out to cut out the routes such as sham marriages, bogus colleges and organised traffickers being used by foreign nationals to try and stay in the UK permanently, the Nigerian Immigration officer said.

Some of the new ways the UNODC intends to support the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), according to its Country Representative, Oliver Stolpe, will include to increase cooperation between European countries and Nigeria, particularly in law-enforcement aspects such as detection, investigations, prosecution of traffickers as well as seizures of proceeds of traffickers and in victim support services.

Stolpe, in a recent speech at a town-hall meeting held in Lagos to sensitise the public against the menace of human trafficking, said that strengthening victims’ return, rehabilitation, reintegration and monitoring the results and impact will help avoid re-victimisation. “This would especially entail building victim support facilities, be it micro-credit, education, and skill acquisition opportunities as well as the Victim Support Funds, both internationally and in Nigeria,” Stolpe said.

A statement from UNODC on the town hall meeting, which had 300 participants in attendance, indicated that the UN organisation also intends to strengthen the engagement of religious and traditional leaders, as well as private partnership engagement and involvement in the matter, especially in awareness raising campaigns and victim rehabilitation and reintegration activities.

A statement issued at the end of the meeting recommended among other things that the ban on street hawking or trading be enforced. Also, the meeting sought the enforcement of an existing law that only adults of 18 years and above should be engaged as maids or domestic workers. This law is expected to be well disseminated.

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