|File photo of ladies who were being repatriated to the country for indulging in prostitution abroad|
Newsbreak.ng reports that the commissioner, who has only been in post for six months, said he cannot think of anything more worrying than women and children being raped and forced into domestic slavery.
Figures released by the UK’s National Crime Agency, revealed that more than 2,000 potential trafficking victims were referred to the authorities in 2014 and out of this figure, 244 were from Nigeria, a 31 per cent increase from the previous year.
Observers believe, however, that the real figure of potential trafficking victims from Nigeria could be much higher than the statistics given by the British government.
In a discussion with BBC Radio4 today, Mr. Hyland, the former head of the Metropolitan police’s human trafficking unit, said: “I am extremely concerned about this. And we’re talking about several hundred every year.
“This isn’t just a one-off it’s continuous, so the treatment of these people, what they go through, is actually a very serious crime, so for me it’s a big problem.
“But also I think the fact that there is a demand for this kind of exploitation in the United Kingdom really concerns me, that there are people who will want to buy sex, will want to exploit, will want to have children as what are current-day slaves, so that is a really serious problem.”
Debbie Ariyo, executive director of the charity Africans Unite Against Child Abuse, who deals with lots of victims, remains adamant that the real number of those trafficked to the UK from Nigeria is much higher because many of them are reluctant to speak out.
“There is a notion among the families in Nigeria that once their family has come over here, they will have a better life, they will get better education, they will have better food and material things.
“A lot of people don’t see the abuse and exploitation and many of the young people who’ve tried to tell their parents back home, it’s difficult for the parents to accept that something like this could be happening in Britain,” she said.
Mr. Hyland further stated that: “It is about working with the law enforcement agencies in Nigeria, working with all those in the communities and telling them this could happen and that’s never been brought together before so it’s unique.
“This is a new idea; Europol, Interpol, National Crime Agency, all must work together. It’s up to me to oversee this.
“This is not about lack of resources but about using them effectively.”