A father-of-three who was separated from his family and then lured away by traffickers is finally living in safety after seven years of exploitation.
Kambili* was tricked into leaving his home country, Nigeria, by two men who made false promises and pretended they wanted to help him.
At the time, Kambili was at a vulnerable point, having become separated from his wife and three children during conflict and fighting in Nigeria.
His decision to accept help left him in the hands of people who intended to harm him.
The traffickers promised Kambili safety, a future in the UK and paid for his transport. But on his arrival in the UK, they took away his ID, placed him in a room with a number of other adults and left him for five days without food.
A member of Hope for Justice’s Hubs team, said: “Kambili had his freedoms and liberties taken away from him in the most unjust of ways, with numerous people profiting from his suffering and hardship over several years.”
The survivor, who is in his early 50s, was subjected to forced labour for seven years, working on farms, often for 14 hours a day, and receiving no pay.
He was trafficked internally in the UK, moved between various locations, and regularly threatened or beaten by his abusers. Kambili was also sexually abused.
After escaping to the streets, he was referred to Hope for Justice in summer 2020 by a healthcare worker based in West Yorkshire who suspected that he was a potential victim of trafficking.
One of our investigators said: “We are relieved that this medical worker knew and recognised several indicators of modern-day slavery which prompted them to refer Kambili for further help. This is one of the main reasons why Hope for Justice is committed to training frontline professionals to spot the signs – they are often best placed to identify some of the most vulnerable people in society.”
Our team is providing ongoing support for the survivor, which has included arranging regular food parcels, entering him into the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) – the UK’s formal process for identifying potential victims of trafficking, and liaising with support workers to find a suitable safe house. Kambili has received a positive reasonable grounds decision via the NRM system.
Hope for Justice’s Advocacy and Hubs teams have also found a solicitor to take on Kambili’s complex immigration case, and provided relevant information, documents and forms for them to take this forward.
“While there is a long way to go in Kambili’s recovery,” a member of our Hubs team said, “we are pleased that he is now receiving the right support to help him begin rebuilding his life. No human being should ever be exploited. We will keep fighting so that every man, woman and child lives in freedom.”
Kambili said: “Throughout this whole process I am very grateful for all the continuous support offered by Hope for Justice.”
*Name changed to protect identity of victim