Children for sale: UK's new slave trade
The illicit trade in children - sold by their parents, some while still babies, to criminal gangs and people traffickers.Impoverished African parents are being lured by the traffickers' promises of "a better life" for their children, thousands of miles away in cities including London, Birmingham and Manchester.
But, once brought to Britain, the children are used as a fraudulent means to obtain illicit housing and other welfare benefits, totalling tens of thousands of pounds each a year.
One international trafficker, tracked down in Lagos, claimed to be buying up to 500 children a year.
From the age of seven, rather than being sent to school, they are exploited as domestic slaves, forced to work for up to 18 hours a day, cleaning, cooking and looking after other younger children, or put to work in restaurants and shops.
Some of the children are also subjected to physical and sexual abuse, while others even find themselves accused of being witches and become victims of exorcism rites in "traditional" African churches in Britain.
Many of the young victims are flown directly from Lagos in Nigeria to London's airports. Others are taken, via other west African states such as Ghana and Benin, to "transit" cities, including Paris.