Screening: Africa’s Billion Pound Migrant Trail

Talk Friday 6th October 2017, 07:00 PM

The Frontline Club will be screening BBC Panorama’s new investigation into the African migrant trade followed by a Q&A with the reporter Benjamin Zand and Director Joshua Baker.

The documentary reveals the extraordinary scale of people smuggling across sub-saharan Africa – a multi billion pound industry described by some as a new “slave trade”.

As the EU desperately tries to cut the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean, reporter Benjamin Zand (Winner of RTS young journalist of the year) and producer Joshua Baker (The Battle For Mosul)  investigate how hundreds of millions of Euros of EU funding is being spent– and asks if EU efforts to tackle the smugglers could be leaving some migrants in an ever more dangerous limbo.

Ben reveals how hard it will be to stop the trade, which employs millions of people  in some of the world’s poorest countries and traces the smuggling route from the shores of Libya, the gateway to Europe and one of the most brutal places on the migrant trail, back through the ghettos in the deserts of Niger, where the local economy is dependent upon human trafficking.

He finishes the investigation in Nigeria, where many begin their journey, and where young girls are committing themselves to years of prostitution to pay their way to Europe. On his journey, Ben hears the tragic stories of the migrants themselves and confronts the smugglers making fortunes from this criminal trade.

The post-screening discussion will be chaired by Gabriel Gatehouse. Gatehouse is Newsnight’s foreign correspondent on BBC2. Currently based in London, he started his career in Russia and the Ukraine, before moving to work in East Africa, Libya and more recently Iraq. In 2016, The British Journalism Awards listed Gatehouse as one of their winners in the category for “Foreign Affairs Journalism”.


Reporter/Producer: Benjamin Zand

Shooting Producer/Director: Joshua Baker

Assistant Producer: Lucy Osborne

Executive Producer: Diana Martin

Executive Editor: Jim Gray