A petition has been launched demanding the right for a Romanian man with learning difficulties who lives in Southampton to remain in the UK.
Asan has been notified that he will be sent back to Romania on the 1 November, as part of an ‘Assisted Voluntary Placement’.
Asan was born and brought up in an orphanage in Romania. As he became older, it was apparent that he had learning difficulties. He was exploited and eventually trafficked to England in June 2014 to be sold into modern slavery.
He was rescued by a Birmingham-based charity, and eventually found himself in Southampton. Since arriving in the city, Asan has had the opportunity to attend Day Services, improve his literacy and numeracy and develop new skills.
On 27 October, it emerged that Asan was to be sent back to Romania, allegedly voluntarily. However, the staff who work with him say that he made it clear that he did not want to return, and he does not fully understand the gravity of the situation. It is unclear whether adequate resources and support will be provided should he return there.
A campaign has been launched with the aim of ensuring that Asan can stay in the city which has become his new home. Legal support is also being provided by an Immigration lawyer.
A petition which was started on Saturday has now reached over 3000 signatures in just three days. Comments on the petition in support of Asan include: ‘it’s everyone’s duty to protect vulnerable people…’ and that ‘it’s [allowing him to stay]the right thing to do!’.
The deadline for signing the petition is tomorrow.