Home Office launches ‘stop the boats’ ad campaign in Vietnam to stop illegal migrants

The Home Office has launched a global campaign to warn migrants of the consequences of entering the UK illegally.

The campaign will use adverts on Facebook and YouTube to target people in Vietnam who may be thinking about making illegal journeys to the UK.

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As a result, the campaign sets out the risks of being indebted and exploited by the people smuggling gangs who profit from facilitating small boat crossings.

Meanwhile, the campaign also warns prospective Vietnamese migrants of the “reality of living in the UK illegally with no right to be in the UK and no access to public services or funding”.

As a result, it uses “real testimonies from those who regret coming to the UK illegally”.

In one advert, a migrant, referred to as K, shares his reality of sleeping in a camp in Calais for five nights under the supervision of armed guards, before taking the long journey across the Channel to the UK.

He said: “Never again would I risk my life in a small boat, even if you bribed me.”

Home Secretary, James Cleverly, said: “This is a powerful campaign which demonstrates first-hand that life for people arriving here illegally is a far cry from the lies they have been sold by the gangs on the other side of the Channel.

“Last year, similar work contributed to a 90% reduction in small boat arrivals from Albania, and overall numbers are down by a third, but there is more to do.

“Expanding our campaign to Vietnam, another key partner in our work to tackle illegal migration will help us to save more lives and dent the business model of the criminals who profit from this vile trade.”

The move comes as the Home Office revealed the UK is witnessing an increasing number of small boat migrants are Vietnamese, with similar campaigns are also being considered for other priority countries.