In response to Olympic champion, Sir Mo Farah, revealing in a BBC documentary that he was trafficked to the UK aged 9 and using the name of another child, Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council, said:
“We salute Sir Mo for his bravery in speaking out about his story. Like so many others he has faced unimaginable pain and by telling his story he is shining a light on global problems which require urgent and meaningful action. His candid account of the circumstances which brought him to the UK show the world that behind every statistic there is a human story which needs to be heard.
“It is a story which sends a powerful message that rather than unworkable schemes which treat people as human cargo there is a desperate need for safe, humane and effective routes for people seeking asylum. There are thousands of children who like Sir Mo have had their lives torn apart by war and persecution, many of whom are then cruelly exploited by traffickers.
“We should respond with sympathy and not further cruelty – criminalising the victim is never the answer. Sir Mo has made an enormous contribution to UK life, just like thousands of others who arrive on our shores and build new lives and new connections in this country.”