‘Stephen’ – next steps

‘Stephen’s’ life in the UK is hanging in the balance. [1] Trafficked to the UK aged ten, he endured years of slavery and abuse. The Home Office is deciding right now whether he should be allowed to stay in the country he loves and calls home, or be sent back to Vietnam, where he simply isn’t safe. [2]

Last week, Stephen’s MP stood up in Parliament and asked the government to intervene in his case. Home Secretary Amber Rudd – who gets the final decision – agreed to “look at” the issue. [3] Amber Rudd has the power to stop Stephen’s deportation, together we can make sure she uses it.

The Home Office has already delayed Stephen’s court case to look at “new evidence” – it’s a sign our pressure is working. Now, if thousands of us email Amber Rudd at the very moment she’s looking into the case, we can make sure she decides to let Stephen stay. Thousands of emails landing in her inbox will be impossible to ignore.

Will you take one minute to email Amber Rudd now? It could be enough to keep Stephen in the UK.

EMAIL AMBER RUDD

Stephen’s story is one full of suffering and bravery. Aged ten and an orphan he was targeted by a trafficking gang who smuggled him to the UK. He was forced to farm cannabis for years, shut in darkness and suffering regular beatings. [4] Three years after his rescue, his life has completely transformed. Stephen now has a loving foster family and a girlfriend. He goes to college and dreams of becoming a chef.

Every day the pressure on the Home Secretary to let him stay in the UK is growing. His case is not only being talked about in parliament, but all over the news. [5] Andover 120,000 people – including you – signed the petition which was delivered straight to the doors of the Home Office. [6]

Now Imagine Amber Rudd coming into work tomorrow morning, seeing her inbox full with emails from people asking her to let Stephen stay, just as she’s making her decision. It could be enough to make sure she does the right thing. But it’ll only work if enough of us email the her today.

 

PS: This isn’t the first time 38 Degrees members have come together to force the Home Office to do the right thing. When Wadih Choudry, a man with downs syndrome who had fled persecution in Lebanon, was fighting deportation, thousands of us came together to help him stay – and won! [7]

 

NOTES:
[1] Stephen’s name has been changed to protect his anonymity.
[2] The Guardian: Home Office accused of cruelty for ordering cannabis slave back to Vietnam:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/12/child-trafficking-cruel-home-office-orders-cannabis-slave-back-to-vietnam
The Guardian: Child slavery victim to plead to stay in UK with support of thousands:
https://www.theguardian.com/law/2018/feb/06/child-slavery-victim-to-plead-to-stay-in-uk-petition-stephen-trafficked-cannabis
The Independent: Home Office urged to reverse ‘grotesque’ decision to send child slavery victim back to country he was trafficked from:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/home-office-child-slavery-victim-country-human-trafficking-decision-ecpat-a8187651.html
[2] 38 Degrees: Petition hand in for “Stephen”:
https://home.38degrees.org.uk/2018/02/01/petition-hand-stephen/
[3] Facebook: Helen Goodman, Bishop Auckland Constituency:
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2047214358627945&id=985380408144684
[4] The Guardian: Trafficked, beaten, enslaved: the life of a Vietnamese cannabis farmer:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/31/trafficked-beaten-ensaved-life-of-cannabis-farmer-vietnam
[5] See note 2
[6] 38 Degrees: Petition hand in for “Stephen”:
https://home.38degrees.org.uk/2018/02/01/petition-hand-stephen/
38 Degrees: Demonstration at the Home Office for “Stephen”:
https://home.38degrees.org.uk/2018/02/07/demonstration-home-office-stephen/
Campaigns By You, 38 Degrees: Allow trafficked teen ‘Stephen’ to stay in UK:
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/allow-shildon-s-stephen-to-stay-in-uk
[7] 38 Degrees Campaigns By You: Do not deport Wadih Chourey back to Lebanon:
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/do-not-deport-wadih-chourey-vack-to-the-lebanon-just-because-his-parents-have-died