Damages awarded to women trafficked into the UK as minors and 'held in slavery'

Date: 30th May 2011
Category: General measures of implementation

Four Nigerian women have been awarded damages after police failed to investigate their allegations that they were illegally trafficked into the UK as minors and subsequently 'held as slaves'.

They were awarded a total of £20,000 damages by a High Court judge who concluded that police had breached their human rights by failing to investigate complaints.

Mr Justice Wyn Williams awarded each woman £5,000 after ruling that Metropolitan Police detectives' "failure to carry out an effective investigation" amounted to a breach of European human rights legislation.

The women, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had alleged that they were brought from Nigeria to the UK illegally, made to work for no pay in households in and around London for a number of years and subjected to "emotional and physical abuse" by householders.

They complained that the Metropolitan Police had infringed their rights under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms by failing to investigate over a "significant" period of time.