Poverty forced asylum seeker into prostitution

"Any man who would go with me would give me £5 or £10. I didn’t have a choice” 24th February 2009: A Congolese asylum seeker who says she was a victim of torture back home was forced by poverty into prostitution after her bid to stay in the UK failed.

Speaking to the BBC’s current affairs show Week In Week Out, Lina Ndayi Nabintu, 29, from the Democratic Republic of Congo: "When I had been refused asylum that was when everything really turned upside down.

"I did not have anyone here. When they stopped my support they threw me out of the house and I did not have anyone to give me money or food. I just became homeless in this country.

"In this situation I did not have any alternative but going to the pubs to look for someone who would go with me to give me some money to survive.

"Any man who would go with me would give me £5 or £10. I didn’t have a choice.

"I was doing that with crying in my heart. I was crying inside but there was no other way to get some money.

"The men you meet… you don’t know their health situation… they can be sick, they can have some diseases and have to close your eyes to do that, so you can have something to survive with."
Ms Nabintu says she was tortured as a political prisoner in DR Congo but the Home Office rejected her asylum claim. Her appeal was also rejected.

Asylum seekers who have exhausted all their legal avenues of appeal are not entitled housing or benefits, but are offered financial assistance packages to return home.

Ms Nabintu refused official help to return home, a decision that made her lose right to claim benefits. Finding herself in a desperation situation, she went to trawl bars in Cardiff offering sex for £10.

She has made a fresh asylum claim and is getting housing and some benefits.

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No-one should be deported to face a risk of torture