Impoverished African mothers are selling their children to residents in Britain in what police authorities are calling “modern day slavery.”
“Hundreds of young children are being sold and trafficked to Britain from Africa to be exploited as modern-day slaves,” the Sunday Telegraph, a London-based newspaper reported.
The newspaper, which conducted an investigation into the trafficking, reported that teenage girls–including some who were pregnant–were willing to sell their babies for a nominal fee.
The investigation revealed that the children “are exploited as domestic slaves, forced to work up to 18 hours a day, cleaning, cooking and looking after other younger children, or put to work in restaurants and shops.
They are also subjected “to physical and sexual abuse, while others even find themselves accused of being witches and become victims of exorcism rites in ‘traditional African churches in Britain.”
The children are used to obtain welfare benefits and illegal housing.
Debbie Ariyo, an executive director of the London-based charity Africans Unite Against Child Abuse, said, “They are being cynically used by adults as slave labor and to defraud the state and then when they get older and have served their purpose and are no longer entitled to benefits they are thrown out on the streets with no papers even to prove who they are.”
A recent figure by the Government’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Central claimed that 330 children, many of them from Africa, have been trafficked to Britain over the past year.