UK to deport trafficked Ghanaian woman, despite protests by charity

Despite protests by a UK charity, against the deportation of a Ghanaian woman trafficked to the UK for prostitution, the Home Office has taken her to a detention centre awaiting a flight to Ghana this evening.

According to the UK publication, The Guardian, the woman, Felicia Adjei was trafficked to that country eight years ago and forced into prostitution and is now HIV positive.

She is due to be deported on a Virgin flight that leaves London Heathrow for Accra at 10.20pm on Friday, April 1, 2011, the Guardian says.

The Poppy project which is run by Eaves, a women’s charity that campaigns to end all aspects of violence against women had been supporting Ms. Adjei in safe accommodation until she was taken to the detention centre by the Home Office.

Abigail Stepnitz, the project’s national co-ordinator, said she will be forcibly deported despite an outstanding judicial review involving her case.

According to the report, the Poppy project says Adjei is from a poor rural family and experienced extensive physical abuse from her father as a young girl. Eight years ago she was sent to the UK by her father and expected to study or work legally and send money home to support her family.

She was apparently held in a house for nearly three years, during which men came to the house at least three times a week and raped her. Sometimes her food was drugged, so she began refusing to eat or drink, but was violently forced to do so. Adjei was not paid and became pregnant after a rape and contracted HIV.

The charity argues that Ms. Adjei faces social stigma if she arrives in Ghana.

“Not only are the relevant services not in place, but the social stigma and pressures she will experience will prevent her from recovering and may endanger her life,” the Poppy project said in a statement.

The UK Border Agency, however does not believe that Ms. Adjei will be in any danger when she is deported to Ghana.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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