Page last updated at 21:01 GMT, Thursday, 19 March 2009

Trafficking victims get 3.7m aid

Sex workers
Many trafficking victims are forced into prostitution, the government says

Victims of human trafficking will be helped to escape prostitution and domestic slavery by a 3.7m government grant to a south London charity.

The Poppy project, based in Oval, has been providing refuge and support to hundreds of victims since 2003.

The new investment will help more people across the UK and increase the number of support workers.

It will also bolster partnerships with the police and the border agency to identify and help victims earlier.

Justice Minister Maria Eagle said: "Human trafficking thrives on the vulnerability of women.

"They are often subjected to multiple crimes including rape, physical violence, kidnapping and threats.

"This has no place in today's society."

Denise Marshall, Chief Executive of the Poppy Project, said: "We are gratified by this recognition of the work that we do.

"The funding will enable us to expand our services to include support for women trafficked into domestic servitude, and we are pleased that this form of exploitation has now been recognised as a gendered form of violence.

"We will also be working with new partners to expand our services on a national level."

While the Poppy project operates nationally, the largest proportion of accommodation remains in London.

This is because 75% of referrals have been made from Greater London and the surrounding areas.

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