Top flight footballer was trafficked for sex

A former Premier League footballer has told the BBC Radio 4’s today programme he was trafficked into the UK for sex.

Al Bangura who played in the Premier League for Watford was brought over to the UK from Africa at the age of 14 and was put to work as a male prostitute.

He spoke of the agony and emotional trauma suffered as a result of being trafficked and is now working to raise awareness in the Premier League about the issue.

A new report by the non-governmental organisation Foot Solidaire has highlighted the growing problem of young boys being tricked into going to England with the promise of football careers.

When the Modern Slavery Act was going through parliament, MPs debated whether the purchase of sex should be criminalised, because evidence has shown that the demand for sexual services is one of the main causes behind human trafficking across the globe. MPs from across the House backed the proposed amendment which was then defeated when the House voted on the issue. Recently at an event supported by CARE, Lord Morrow, the architect of Northern Ireland’s trafficking laws spoke specifically on the issue on criminalising the purchase of sex and the support for this policy from those present was clear.

CARE supports a ban on the purchase of sexual services as an effective means of shifting the blame away from the victim and onto the buyer. This approach, called the Nordic model would also mean demand for paid sex would be effectively tackled. For more information, follow this link.

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