01/03/2012 Newsnight


01/03/2012

A report on the murder of teenager Kristy Bamu, accused of involvement in witchcraft then killed by members of his own family. Presented by Gavin Esler.


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Tonight, tortured and drowned by a member of his own familiarly 15-

:00:08.:00:12.

year-old Christie Bamu's murders believed he was possessed by demons.

:00:12.:00:17.

We will talk to church leaders and child protection experts to explore

:00:17.:00:26.

the links between the belief in evil spirits, kindoki, and religion.

:00:26.:00:31.

Thousands of children have been sent here to people they have never

:00:31.:00:36.

met and come under contact of the authorities. We have had cases of

:00:36.:00:40.

extreme physical and sexual abuse of these children, and if they are

:00:40.:00:44.

in school, nobody asks questions about their immigration status.

:00:44.:00:48.

Fighting gives way in Homs, the army may take further revenge on

:00:48.:00:55.

civilians, it is feared. We will ask an activist what he is hearing

:00:55.:00:59.

about the rebellion. We are on the road with the IMF.

:00:59.:01:03.

She's on the road, Newsnight interviews, as a double act.

:01:03.:01:07.

Christine Lagarde's talents have impressed George Osborne, but can

:01:07.:01:17.
:01:17.:01:18.

anyone really solve the eurozone crisis?

:01:18.:01:22.

There were more than 100 injuries on the body of Kristy Bamu, within

:01:22.:01:27.

I was finally drowned in a bath in a flat in East London on Christmas

:01:27.:01:31.

Day. Today his sister and her husband

:01:31.:01:36.

were convicted of one of the worst cases of child abuse seen in

:01:36.:01:42.

Britain. Their brutality was driven by a belief in kindoki, that he was

:01:42.:01:46.

possessed by an evil spirit that had to be driven from him. We

:01:46.:01:52.

report on extremely disturbing case. What took place in the Kristy Bamu

:01:52.:02:02.

case is a leap to something utterly ferral, it goes way beyond the

:02:02.:02:07.

bounds Feral, it goes way beyond the bounds of normality. We know

:02:07.:02:11.

lots of children are dying in silence and suffering in silence.

:02:11.:02:16.

Two years ago Kristy Bamu travelled from Paris, with his siblings, to

:02:16.:02:23.

spend Christmas with their sister, Mag alie, he arrived at this tower

:02:23.:02:28.

block in London in East London in September, but he never left.

:02:28.:02:33.

Christmas Day 2010, paramedics are called to this flat, 248, in the

:02:33.:02:38.

bath they find a 15-year-old boy, he's dead. He has 100 separate

:02:38.:02:42.

injuries. There is blood splattered on the floor, on the walls, even on

:02:42.:02:49.

the ceiling. The abuse began when he wet himself, the bathroom door

:02:49.:02:54.

was locked and he couldn't get in. Embarrassed he hid his underpants

:02:54.:03:03.

in the kitchen, Eric Bikubi found them, and accused him of trying to

:03:03.:03:11.

pollute the food using kindoki, they were forced to fast and pray.

:03:11.:03:16.

But Kristy was singled out, being hit with the hammer in the face and

:03:16.:03:20.

tortured with a pliers. He was begging them to let him die.

:03:20.:03:26.

Finally he was put into a bath of water, as Kristy drowned, Eric

:03:26.:03:32.

Bikubi talked about the power of God. In the hours before Kristy

:03:32.:03:36.

died, he spoke to his father in Paris, he begged to be collected

:03:36.:03:40.

from London, because he said Eric was going to kill him.

:03:40.:03:45.

But by the time his father had borrowed the money for the ferry,

:03:45.:03:53.

his son was already dead. TRANSLATION: There is a pain in my

:03:53.:03:58.

heart, this pain, I can't explain it. It took me at least a week-and-

:03:58.:04:08.
:04:08.:04:08.

a-half before I started eating again. It is tough, really tough.

:04:08.:04:12.

This is unimaginable. The children went to London, because I had

:04:12.:04:22.

confidence in Eric, but one of them came back in a coffin.

:04:22.:04:26.

But to understand what happened to Kristy Bamu, you have to look at

:04:26.:04:36.
:04:36.:04:38.

the Congalese culture of kinddoky. What has happened in -- What has

:04:38.:04:44.

happened is this idea of kindoki possession has taken hold in the

:04:44.:04:47.

Congalese. It is hard to find people now who don't think it is

:04:47.:04:51.

real or believe in it. We could be talking about 25 million people in

:04:51.:04:55.

the Congo, and other parts of Africa and outside Africa, who

:04:55.:05:00.

believe in this possession by witchcraft, or wind doky. In the

:05:00.:05:06.

past -- Wind doky. In the past it was believed -- Kindoki. In the

:05:06.:05:13.

past it was believed only old people can be possessed. Because of

:05:13.:05:19.

war children were made into child soldiers and became objects of fair.

:05:19.:05:24.

Evangelical Chris tannity has flooded the country, mixing

:05:24.:05:29.

religious and culture. It is now children who are seen to carry the

:05:29.:05:39.
:05:39.:05:39.

contagion of kindoki. These beliefs know no borders, they

:05:39.:05:44.

have simply followed migrants as they have moved to Europe. Where it

:05:44.:05:50.

is very, very prevalent is in these communities where everything is

:05:50.:05:58.

justified on the basis of belief, misfortune, poverty, sickness. It

:05:58.:06:02.

can lead to neglect, because people will stop looking after the child,

:06:02.:06:08.

and here we have seen cases where children have been refused food, to

:06:09.:06:12.

starve them, in the belief that to weaken the evil spirit. That's

:06:12.:06:21.

completely wrong. This woman and her sister Christine,

:06:21.:06:27.

grew up with Magalie Bamu, they say the believe in kindoki is

:06:27.:06:31.

widespread here as it is in the Congalese. Is it possible for

:06:31.:06:36.

somebody to be kindoki or possessed by evil spirits. It is very

:06:36.:06:40.

possible. When you say is it possible, they are, there are many

:06:40.:06:46.

people who are. If you watch Harry Potter that is kindoki, I would

:06:46.:06:51.

personally not let my child watch those kinds of programmes, Harry

:06:51.:06:58.

Potter, scam charmed, it is exactly what happens, you watch these

:06:58.:07:03.

movies and see how an evil spirit would go into someone. In the

:07:03.:07:09.

Jamesd of Jesus Christ. In 2005, Newsnight investigated how some

:07:09.:07:12.

churches with African roots, operating in Britain, were

:07:12.:07:20.

fostering the idea of demonic possession, of adults and children.

:07:20.:07:24.

Since the death of Victoria Climbie, in the year 2000, who was killed

:07:24.:07:28.

partly because of that belief, the authorities have not been idle.

:07:28.:07:32.

There has been widespread training of police, social workers and

:07:32.:07:38.

pastors, a special police unite, Project Violet -- unit, project

:07:38.:07:43.

Violet was set up, and there is a working group chaired by a minister.

:07:43.:07:47.

Despite those efforts, African churches continue to spring up

:07:47.:07:50.

across London, as migrant communities search for identity and

:07:50.:07:55.

security, most are entirely begin nine, but some do preach a muscular

:07:55.:08:00.

belief in witchcraft. There is little outside regulation of any of

:08:00.:08:05.

their activities. We now know that Eric Bikubi came here, to the

:08:05.:08:09.

Holloway Road in London, looking for Nigerian churches, looking to

:08:09.:08:13.

back up his belief in spirit possession.

:08:13.:08:18.

This is a film released by one of the most high-profile evangelical

:08:18.:08:22.

churchs in Nigeria. Children receive their instructions from the

:08:22.:08:30.

devil, to wreek havoc in their homes.

:08:30.:08:36.

- in the UK, cases like the one moving Kristy Bamu and Eric Bikubi

:08:36.:08:41.

are very rare. But professionals believe that potentially dangerous

:08:41.:08:45.

beliefs are escaping the relative control of churches and going

:08:45.:08:49.

underground. One of the most disturbing aspects of the case,

:08:49.:08:53.

this is at least the third case where an and deliverance or

:08:53.:08:58.

something of that sort has taken place in a home, Victoria Climbie,

:08:58.:09:03.

Child B, and now this case, Kristy Bamu. In the Congo, in the DLC, and

:09:03.:09:09.

other parts of Africa, I'm not condoning what pastors do for a

:09:09.:09:14.

second, I'm condoning the churches, but at least there was a measure of

:09:14.:09:17.

control. What happened here was totally feral and out of control,

:09:17.:09:20.

and nobody seemed to notice what was going on, because they did it

:09:20.:09:26.

in their home, that is frightening. Though not regular churchgoers,

:09:26.:09:31.

Kristy's killers had strong beliefs, but from where, 24-hour religious

:09:31.:09:39.

channels on TV or on-line, or on DVDs, easily on this market in East

:09:39.:09:43.

London. My guide doesn't want to be identified for fear of being

:09:43.:09:48.

ostracised by his community. How easy would it be for you here to

:09:48.:09:52.

buy videos talking about kindoki? There is a shop there, with that

:09:52.:09:57.

guy, round the corner. Do people take them seriously or is it just

:09:57.:10:03.

entertainment? A bit of both. But it is never questioned. So people

:10:03.:10:10.

never question kindoki? Never. that children can be po tesed. We

:10:10.:10:15.

took -- possessed. We took what we bought to a cafe to watch. We

:10:15.:10:22.

bought this around the corner. Some have lurid covers and others

:10:22.:10:28.

are bootlegs. Yeah. All of them have scenes of deliverance. Heavy,

:10:28.:10:35.

especially this one. This drama, made in kins Shas is a, a pastor

:10:35.:10:42.

miraculously heels a blind boy, by miraculously delivering him of the

:10:42.:10:47.

evil spir rite We don't know what is going -- Spirit. We don't know

:10:47.:10:51.

what is going on underground, what abuse there is. The evil spirit,

:10:51.:10:58.

that is the spirit of infestation, and diseases. There are those in

:10:58.:11:01.

the Congalese community that want to tackle the problem head on, here

:11:01.:11:08.

a group of teenagers perform a play about kindoki, a pastor accuse as

:11:08.:11:15.

child, performs an exorism and then demands payment. It has been shown

:11:15.:11:19.

to churchgoers and workers. Since the death of Victoria Climbie, the

:11:19.:11:22.

authorities have focused on tackling abuse, not the beliefs

:11:22.:11:26.

behind it. Some, though, feel it is time to recognise there are ideas

:11:26.:11:32.

just too toxic to leave unchallenged.

:11:32.:11:36.

The block is white middle-class people who don't want to touch the

:11:36.:11:43.

liberal multicultural agenda. John Sentamu saying once that the

:11:43.:11:46.

ultimate no-no for a white liberal was to tell a black person that

:11:47.:11:50.

they are wrong. But we have to get through this, it is beyond just

:11:50.:11:54.

skin colour. We have to grow up. It is only a matter of time, I'm

:11:54.:11:57.

afraid, unless we take action, before there are more children that

:11:57.:12:04.

are abused, or indeed, horrendous though it will be, killed because

:12:04.:12:09.

of this belief system, that is why we have to tackle it. The Old

:12:09.:12:15.

Bailey was old that Eric Bikubi and Magalie Bamu, came from chaotic,

:12:15.:12:18.

dysfuntional backgrounds, for them witchcraft was real and powerful,

:12:18.:12:22.

it gave an explanation for every misfortune. In their fear and anger

:12:22.:12:25.

they turned on a child, who couldn't defend himself. Kristy

:12:25.:12:31.

paid with his life for their warped and distorted faith.

:12:31.:12:37.

We will hear more on that in a moment. I'm joined now by bishop

:12:37.:12:45.

Joe Aldred, Ariyo from AFRUCA, and Modeste Muyulu, a Congalese pastor

:12:45.:12:50.

of the French Christian community at Beth they will church. How swied

:12:50.:12:55.

spread -- Bethel Church. How widespread is the belief of kindoki

:12:55.:13:03.

in the UK? It would apear that the belief may well be widespread --

:13:03.:13:08.

appear that the belief is widespread. It is also that it can

:13:08.:13:16.

be set in a wider context. It is not unusual that we have the word

:13:16.:13:20.

"witch-hunt" in the English vocabulary, it goes back centuries

:13:20.:13:24.

and is universal. This particular strain, while we are clear that not

:13:24.:13:30.

every day it appears we get this kind of incident, but every time it

:13:30.:13:35.

happens it is so traumatic, and though a specialist end of the

:13:35.:13:41.

whole thing, it is pretty scary. you find a lot of pastors equate

:13:41.:13:45.

some bad behaviour in children with some kind of possession by spirits?

:13:45.:13:50.

That's not my experience. In fact, my role with Churches Together, is

:13:50.:13:53.

largely to support the black Christian community across the

:13:53.:13:58.

country. I would say, I come across this hardly at all. But the reason

:13:58.:14:02.

for that, of course, is because by the time you come to churches which

:14:02.:14:08.

are members of Churches Together in England, you are dealing very often

:14:08.:14:14.

with the safer end of the Christian community. The challenge is how we

:14:14.:14:19.

reach those operating largely on the boundaries of Christianity, and

:14:19.:14:24.

behaving in ways which are dangerous to children. Modeste

:14:24.:14:28.

Muyulu, you believe some people can be possessed by evil spirits?

:14:28.:14:33.

I do believe that some people can be possessed by evil spirits, and

:14:33.:14:37.

that I also believe that witchcraft is real, but the problem is how you

:14:37.:14:43.

deal with it. How do you know, to begin with, how do you know that a

:14:43.:14:50.

child, for example is possessed with a spirit? I cannot be

:14:50.:14:53.

suspicious to somebody and accuse him to be possessed by the evil

:14:53.:14:58.

spirit. I cannot do that, because it is not my duty to do that.

:14:58.:15:02.

you believe it does happen. For instance, in this case, we heard of

:15:02.:15:06.

a 15-year-old who wet himself, I mean, is that something that would

:15:06.:15:10.

be some kind of sign that this person potentially could be

:15:10.:15:15.

possessed by evil spirits or not? To me, wetting the bed could not be

:15:15.:15:21.

a sign of being possessed by the evil spirit, that's my belief.

:15:21.:15:25.

those who are possessed or you have reason to believe are possessed,

:15:25.:15:28.

relieving them of the spirit, getting rid of that demon, is that

:15:28.:15:34.

being seen as doing something good for that person? Yes. We can pray

:15:34.:15:40.

just a simple prayer, with love, with kprags, without doing any --

:15:40.:15:44.

compassion, without doing any harm to the person, without being

:15:44.:15:48.

violent. If the person thinks he might be possessed. It is the

:15:48.:15:53.

person who needs the prayer, I'm not going to accuse people and

:15:53.:15:57.

force people to be prayed for. But if somebody thinks that he might

:15:57.:16:02.

need the prayer, if he thinks that he might have a demon in him, just

:16:02.:16:09.

a simple prayer with love, with compassion, without any violence we

:16:09.:16:15.

can do that. Is that the line that people can believe as they wish but

:16:15.:16:19.

no question of violence, that is where you draw the line? You can't

:16:19.:16:25.

question what people choose to believe in, you can question

:16:25.:16:30.

people's religion, we have a problem where religion mutates into

:16:30.:16:34.

a harmful practice, where children are harmed and abused. As we have

:16:34.:16:38.

seen in this case, children are actually killed. If you said to a

:16:38.:16:43.

child, or of a child, this child is possessed, this child is possessed

:16:44.:16:48.

by demons, isn't that harmful? believe it is harmful, because I

:16:48.:16:55.

think that it is difficult, as we have seen now, to actually

:16:55.:17:00.

determine what constitutes spirit possession. How do you know a child

:17:00.:17:04.

is possessed of evil spirits, how do you know a child has witchcraft,

:17:04.:17:09.

how can you tell? I haven't seen anybody who has been able to tell

:17:09.:17:15.

me exactly how that diagnosis can be made. How do you tell, that is

:17:15.:17:19.

surely the question if somebody is suspected of being possessed by

:17:19.:17:24.

demons, how can you tell or how do you have a clue? As I earlier, it

:17:24.:17:30.

is not a part that I have to play to accuse somebody, but if somebody,

:17:30.:17:37.

if the person thinks that he might have an evil spirit, that is my

:17:37.:17:42.

duty as a minister, just to pray for him. Do you take the point if

:17:42.:17:46.

you say, particularly to a child, you are possessed by an evil spirit,

:17:46.:17:51.

that is child abuse, isn't it? of the things I have been accusing

:17:51.:17:55.

pastors to be wary of, of a case where somebody comes into a church

:17:55.:17:59.

with a child and asks for prayer for the child because therapysed.

:17:59.:18:08.

You have to be careful, I'm -- they are possessed. I'm saying don't do

:18:08.:18:13.

that. You need to counsel further with that family to find out what

:18:13.:18:17.

is going on with that child. There is a part of my Christian faith

:18:17.:18:27.
:18:27.:18:32.

that seemed to pander just too much to you know evil spirit possession.

:18:32.:18:37.

And the need to cast out or exorcise that demon. I'm getting on

:18:37.:18:41.

in age, I have been a Christian all my life, it is not something that

:18:41.:18:44.

is an every day occurrance. Those churches that seem to deal heavily

:18:44.:18:50.

in this business of casting out demons, I feel they are being

:18:50.:18:56.

called in the film, evangelicals and African, I think it is an abuse

:18:56.:19:00.

of a term of evangelical. Just on the question of what you can

:19:01.:19:06.

actually do about it now, how can you be engaged, we heard of project

:19:06.:19:11.

Vie -- Project Violet there and a Government working group, but if it

:19:11.:19:14.

is happening in people's homes, as we heard in the report, is

:19:14.:19:18.

particularly scary? It is absolutely scary. I completely

:19:18.:19:24.

agree with what the Bishop said. We have many organisations operating

:19:24.:19:30.

on the periphery of Christianity, who are actually very dominant in

:19:30.:19:35.

our communities, absolutely. This is where people go to for help and

:19:35.:19:42.

support. These organisations are very largely unregulated, nobody

:19:42.:19:46.

knows they are there. They are operating in people's homes, in

:19:46.:19:51.

garages, school halls and so forth. Nobody actually is bothered about

:19:51.:19:55.

doing anything to, at least, control them some how, so they are

:19:55.:20:02.

growing, they are spreading, and, of course, people go there, they

:20:02.:20:09.

can actually be abused and exploited in different ways. Angus

:20:09.:20:16.

nodded to the fact that money is a factor in some cases, is that true?

:20:16.:20:19.

If a child goes to one of the called churches on a Sunday, and

:20:19.:20:23.

the pastor looks at the child and says this child has an evil spirit,

:20:23.:20:28.

that is branding. For that child to be delivered, or exorcised, the

:20:28.:20:32.

parents will have to pay some amount of money for that child to

:20:33.:20:38.

be exorcised. That is, in my view, exploitation. Have you any idea how

:20:38.:20:45.

much of it goes on, how much of the exploitation, how many exorisms

:20:45.:20:55.
:20:55.:20:56.

there are, or issues of deliverance. I don't have an idea, I don't know

:20:57.:21:01.

what is going on in the local churches, I focus on the church I

:21:01.:21:06.

lead. How often would it happen in your church? From my experience, as

:21:06.:21:11.

a minister for ten years, I have never come across a case where the

:21:11.:21:15.

parent brought a child and accuse him of witchcraft. That hasn't

:21:15.:21:18.

happened to me before, being in the ministry. If it does happen, I will

:21:18.:21:23.

know, as the bishop says, how to handle the case. I cannot go

:21:23.:21:27.

straight away to exorcise the children, maybe counsel the parent

:21:27.:21:34.

and just help them, as the bishop just said. Briefly, do you think,

:21:34.:21:38.

this is obviously a shocking case, will we have other cases like this,

:21:38.:21:42.

because so much of it goes on underground? I hope it is not

:21:42.:21:45.

inevitable, we don't know the extent of it. Some research was

:21:45.:21:55.
:21:55.:21:55.

done by the Department of Education between 2000-2005, it identified 38

:21:55.:22:04.

cases of child abuse linked to possessions. We know it is not a

:22:04.:22:08.

regular thing. The message I want to send to everyone, yes, we are

:22:08.:22:13.

not trying to prescribe what you believe, but whatever it is you

:22:13.:22:17.

believe, you are not permitted to abuse, let alone kill a child.

:22:18.:22:21.

Eric Bikubi and Magalie Bamu shared more than a belief in witchcraft

:22:21.:22:24.

and spirit possession. Newsnight has uncovered startling details

:22:24.:22:29.

about their chaotic childhoods, as a 13-year-old Magalie Bamu was sent

:22:29.:22:34.

to live in Britain and treated like a domestic servant. She and Eric

:22:34.:22:38.

Bikubi were involved in private fostering arrangements. It has led

:22:38.:22:42.

to concerns about the lack of regulation, and the potentially

:22:42.:22:48.

catastrophic impact such arrangements can have on children.

:22:48.:22:56.

A child arrives alone in the UK. She's picked up by a family she

:22:56.:22:59.

doesn't know. Once out of the airport, as far as the authorities

:22:59.:23:05.

are concerned, she disappears. There is no promised better life,

:23:05.:23:13.

no school, just hard work. Shift, nonsense, stupid, rush

:23:13.:23:16.

bishop girl. Charities believe thousands of children arrive every

:23:16.:23:20.

year in the UK to be fostered privately. Some are well looked

:23:20.:23:25.

after, but for the vast majority, what happens to them is a mystery.

:23:25.:23:30.

This case, though, has revealed the fate of two such children.

:23:30.:23:34.

Magalie Bamu told the court she was sent to London at the age of 13 to

:23:34.:23:37.

live with a family she had never met. She was made to cook, clean,

:23:37.:23:43.

look after the children, and didn't go to school. Eric Bikubi was also

:23:43.:23:47.

privately fostered by someone he wasn't related to. And, at the age

:23:47.:23:52.

of 24, was allowed to become the main carer for two teenage girls he

:23:52.:23:58.

said were his sisters. A claim Newsnight has discovered was false.

:23:59.:24:04.

But why was Eric Bikubi allowed to foster two girls aged 15 and 16. As

:24:04.:24:09.

a child himself, he had been looked after by a family friend, before

:24:09.:24:12.

going into local authority foster care in Camden. He was last in

:24:12.:24:16.

touch with social services there in early 2007.

:24:16.:24:20.

That same year Hackney, where he was briefly living, approved the

:24:20.:24:25.

private fostering arrangement. Eventhough, by then, he already had

:24:25.:24:29.

three criminal convictions, one for having a knife in a public place.

:24:29.:24:34.

Hackney told us they made all relevant checks as did barking and

:24:34.:24:39.

Dagenham, where the girls had originally been staying. This man,

:24:39.:24:46.

who has asked to be called BB is Eric's cousin, the girls were, in

:24:46.:24:52.

fact, his sisters, brought from the Congo to live with him. In 2007 the

:24:52.:24:58.

girls told social services that BB hit them, allegations later to be

:24:58.:25:02.

proved false. Eric became their carer, after telling the council he

:25:02.:25:07.

was their brother. These two girls were not his sisters, but he said

:25:07.:25:14.

they were. They weren't his sisters, but his their cousin. Why did

:25:14.:25:17.

social services allow your sisters to go and live with Eric? They

:25:17.:25:21.

don't know what they are doing, that is all I can say. Many

:25:21.:25:24.

children from diverse backgrounds come to the UK to be looked after

:25:24.:25:29.

by their extended families, and thrive, others, though, become

:25:29.:25:34.

commodities, moved across borders and exploited. The death of

:25:34.:25:39.

Victoria Climbie, in the year 2000, threw the unregulated nature of

:25:39.:25:43.

private fostering arrangements into sharp focus. The inquiry into her

:25:43.:25:47.

death heard that she came here with her great aunt on a false passport,

:25:48.:25:52.

didn't go to school, and was used for benefit fraud. Finally she was

:25:52.:25:59.

beaten and starved to death. You, go through. New regulations

:25:59.:26:03.

introduced in 2005 required private foster carers to register with the

:26:03.:26:07.

local authorities. But seven years on, Newsnight has learned that in

:26:07.:26:14.

many cases this simply isn't happening. Charities say as many as

:26:14.:26:18.

10,000 children may be privately fostered, but official figures show

:26:18.:26:23.

there are 1500 in England, just over a thousand in Scotland, 68 in

:26:23.:26:25.

Wales, and just six in Northern Ireland.

:26:25.:26:31.

So as many as 75% may be unregistered, unknown to social

:26:31.:26:35.

services, and unsupervised by the child protection system.

:26:35.:26:39.

Currently what will happen is a child will come in on a visitor

:26:39.:26:42.

visa, with either a parent or a relative, they will then be lift

:26:42.:26:47.

with a relative, friend, whom ever, and the other adult who brought

:26:47.:26:51.

them will go back to the country of origin. The child will then

:26:52.:26:54.

overstay their visitor visa, they will stay beyond six months, maybe

:26:55.:26:58.

three years, maybe ten years, we have had cases that they have been

:26:58.:27:03.

in the UK. They may be impress soned in the home, or their

:27:03.:27:11.

movements completely circumscribed, or worse, we have had cases of

:27:11.:27:14.

extreme sexual and physical abuse with these children, or they are

:27:14.:27:18.

home help. If they are in school, nobody asks questions about their

:27:18.:27:24.

immigration status. That is exactly what happened to Gabrielle, sent

:27:24.:27:31.

from London from Jamaica at the age of 12, her great uncle picked her

:27:31.:27:35.

up from the airport and left her with a family she didn't know, and

:27:35.:27:39.

then left. He told me he was going to come back. Had you met the

:27:39.:27:44.

friends before? No, he just told me they were friends. I was crying,

:27:44.:27:51.

every night I was crying. I was thinking what is this? It wasn't

:27:51.:28:01.
:28:01.:28:06.

good. How safe did you feel in this house? If you would like to stop

:28:06.:28:15.

for a while? I wasn't safe. I was nowhere near safe. I used to lock

:28:15.:28:22.

myself in, because I used to be there by myself most of the time.

:28:22.:28:32.
:28:32.:28:34.

Did the woman hurt you? She would hit me.

:28:34.:28:38.

Unlike some children, Gabrielle did eventually go to school. But no-one

:28:38.:28:48.
:28:48.:28:49.

tried to find out how she was living, or who with. Lisa Nandy is

:28:49.:28:52.

a Labour member of the Education Select Committee, she believes a

:28:52.:28:55.

combination of ideology and budget cuts, means even the limited

:28:55.:29:00.

progress made since the death of Victoria Climbie is being reversed.

:29:00.:29:05.

We know since 2005, with a lot of families struggling, that the

:29:05.:29:12.

number of children we know about in the private fostering area is

:29:12.:29:17.

growing. We know that childrens' services have taken huge cuts to

:29:17.:29:21.

their budget. The Government has pursued a course of watering down

:29:21.:29:25.

the duty to co-operate between agencies, which did so much to

:29:25.:29:29.

improve the situation post-Victoria Climbie. It is pretty apparent we

:29:29.:29:33.

are moving in the wrong direction. We should be putting more focus

:29:33.:29:36.

into resources and changing the culture to keep children safe.

:29:36.:29:40.

Instead we are doing less. In court, in her defence, Magalie

:29:40.:29:44.

Bamu spoke about the damaging impact of her time being privately

:29:44.:29:51.

fostered. We also know that Eric Bikubi, who now faces life in

:29:51.:29:55.

prison for killing a child, was both privately fostered, and

:29:55.:29:59.

allowed to foster two teenage girls. The case of Bamu and Bikubi, though

:29:59.:30:02.

unique in its brutality, also shines a light on a system which

:30:02.:30:06.

still allows children to vanish into a world free from official

:30:06.:30:11.

oversight. Where thousands remain hidden in plain view.

:30:12.:30:15.

Joining us now from Birmingham is Hilton Dawson, chief executive of

:30:16.:30:20.

the British Association of Social workers. Talk us through your

:30:20.:30:24.

concerns about the private fostering? I think it is well

:30:24.:30:29.

revealed by your film. We believe there are thousands of children, we

:30:29.:30:37.

have no idea how many there are. You quote something like 10,000, it

:30:37.:30:41.

could easily be 20,000 children in this country. Who have no

:30:41.:30:43.

protection, they are not living with their parents, who may be

:30:43.:30:48.

living in good circumstances, but some of whom may be living in

:30:48.:30:52.

disastrous ones. It is true that there may be some, teenagers,

:30:52.:30:57.

getting into trouble, go and live with a family friend for a while,

:30:57.:31:00.

that is probably a good thing for them. How do you make sure you

:31:00.:31:05.

don't stop that, while you stop some of this? I have no idea why

:31:05.:31:10.

successive Governments haven't brought in a simple registration

:31:10.:31:15.

system, where one agency would have a particular role to make sure that

:31:15.:31:19.

people who were interested, legitimately, in private fostering,

:31:19.:31:23.

registered, were checked out, were given training, and were given

:31:23.:31:28.

support for what is a very, very important job. It is no good simply

:31:28.:31:33.

to blame this Government. The previous Government and I was a

:31:33.:31:38.

backbencher under it, had at least three opportunities to amend

:31:38.:31:43.

legislation to bring such a system in. Is that what it would take,

:31:43.:31:51.

would it take new legislation in order to do this? There would be a

:31:51.:31:57.

need to change the legislation. But that could be done very easily. It

:31:57.:32:01.

is the political will that's lacking. I don't even think there

:32:01.:32:05.

would need to be a huge investment. What there needs to be is a focus

:32:05.:32:09.

and a clear determination to protect these children. Isn't one

:32:09.:32:12.

of the problems, I know you must come across this all the time in

:32:12.:32:15.

your work, there is no amount of regulation, or legislation, or

:32:15.:32:20.

indeed work by social workers, which can actually regulate human

:32:20.:32:24.

wickedness? That's absolutely the case. You can help by putting

:32:24.:32:29.

effective systems in place, you can ensure that, as I say, that people

:32:30.:32:35.

who do properly want to do private fostering, and provide, and want to

:32:35.:32:40.

provide decent circumstances for children, whose parents

:32:40.:32:44.

legitimately need to have them looked after, in which they can get

:32:44.:32:51.

support, in a way where you can target those out to exploit and

:32:51.:33:00.

abuse and vilely mistreat children. The United Nations Security Council,

:33:00.:33:05.

in an unusual display of single mindedness on Syria, tonight

:33:05.:33:09.

demanded that the UN's humanitarian chief, Valerie Amos be allowed into

:33:09.:33:14.

the country immediately Russia and chine knee even agreed. It comes as

:33:14.:33:18.

the rebel Free Syrian Army said it was withdrawing from the Baba Amr

:33:18.:33:23.

district of Homs, in the hope of protecting civilians from

:33:23.:33:29.

continuing bloodshed. Pictures on the Internet appear to show further

:33:29.:33:36.

fighting. And what looks like the civilians collecting snow to use as

:33:36.:33:40.

drinking water. President Assad's Government has said they will be

:33:40.:33:45.

allowed in tomorrow to provide aid. I'm joined by a Syrian opposition

:33:45.:33:48.

activist, who has been trying to find out what is going on in Homs

:33:48.:33:52.

and elsewhere. What kind of picture is emerging in Homs, do you think?

:33:52.:33:57.

It has calmed down, the last four or five hours. Before that the

:33:57.:34:02.

level of violence inflicted on that particular district of Homs has

:34:02.:34:06.

been horrendous. We have been losing people on a daily basis,

:34:07.:34:09.

especially people who have taken it upon themselves to get the

:34:09.:34:13.

information out, and provide us with information on the numbers of

:34:13.:34:18.

the casualties that this particular part of the city is suffering. This

:34:18.:34:23.

isn't available any more, they say they can't even count the bodies.

:34:23.:34:27.

There are bodies trapped inside flats. Especially in the western

:34:27.:34:32.

side of the district, where the Syrian regular army personnel have

:34:32.:34:38.

actually reached, and now they are raiding those areas, house-to-house,

:34:38.:34:42.

and conducting house-to-house arrests. Some families, we have

:34:42.:34:46.

confirmed information of some familiar lose that have been killed

:34:46.:34:52.

from a short distance, by the security officers of the Syrian

:34:52.:34:56.

regular army. What do you mean by a short distance, as close as we are?

:34:57.:35:01.

Yeah, yeah. I appreciate how difficult it is to find out

:35:01.:35:08.

anything reliably from there. Presumably with the Red Crescent

:35:08.:35:12.

and the Red Cross going in tomorrow, that is good news, isn't it? It is

:35:12.:35:16.

good news. This is what we have been calling for. We want observers,

:35:16.:35:19.

international NGOs to access those areas, because the regime, believe

:35:19.:35:25.

it or not, take into consideration the presence of foreign media and

:35:25.:35:28.

journalists and international observers. They don't want any

:35:28.:35:31.

evidence to emerge about what they are doing. Part of the problem that

:35:31.:35:36.

we have faced is actually the regime attempt to cut off the city

:35:36.:35:41.

of Homs entirely. They haven't managed, only because of the

:35:41.:35:45.

closeness of Homs to Lebanon, and because of some satellite phones

:35:45.:35:49.

that were available to some of the activists. But the regime is trying

:35:49.:35:55.

to keep everyone out, and this is getting those international NGOs

:35:55.:35:59.

inside those areas, is actually what we want, and what we have been

:35:59.:36:04.

calling for. To get the regime to stop this military assault on the

:36:04.:36:11.

area. What do you make of the free Syrian armyo saying they are having

:36:11.:36:15.

a tactical withdrawal. They have small arms and they can't take

:36:15.:36:19.

head-on tanks and heavy artillery, it is more than a tactical retreat,

:36:19.:36:24.

it is just a retreat? I'm afraid the whole picture about the Free

:36:24.:36:28.

Syrian Army has been exaggerated, partly because some elements of the

:36:29.:36:32.

opposition itself in exile, and by some of the officers, the defected

:36:32.:36:42.
:36:42.:36:43.

officers in exile. Who are actually building up this illusion about the

:36:43.:36:47.

capability of the free Syrian army. They are inexperience conscripts

:36:47.:36:52.

who defected from the army fearing foretheir lives, and actually,

:36:52.:36:57.

armed lightly with Kalashnikovs, they are no match for the Syrian

:36:57.:37:05.

regular army. The problem is, the regime now is using that kind of

:37:05.:37:09.

talk about what they are capable of to raise the level of aggression,

:37:09.:37:14.

and the military operation, as an excuse that there are actually more

:37:14.:37:19.

than just a group of lightly armed people. There is actually an army

:37:19.:37:23.

there, a Free Syrian Army. This Free Syrian Army thing does not

:37:23.:37:27.

exist. We have groups of people, defected conscripts who have

:37:27.:37:30.

gathered together and stuck together, because this is their

:37:30.:37:35.

only chance of survival, until they make it to the closest borders to

:37:35.:37:40.

them, in this case it would be Turkey. Thank you for your insights.

:37:40.:37:44.

Now, European leaders met, yet again, in Brussels today, this time

:37:44.:37:48.

not with the immediate Greek bailout on the agenda, but how to

:37:48.:37:53.

stop a future eurocrisis from wrecking the world economy. The

:37:53.:37:58.

International Monetary Fund wants an extra �500 billion dollars for

:37:58.:38:01.

the firewall. Christine Lagarde says European countries must pay up

:38:01.:38:04.

first. We have had special access to Christine Lagarde over the past

:38:04.:38:09.

month, as she tries to stitch together a plan which "might"

:38:10.:38:19.
:38:20.:38:20.

prevent the next financial disaster. As Europe lurchs from crisis to

:38:20.:38:23.

crisis, Christine Lagarde is on a mission to warn the world not to

:38:23.:38:31.

ignore the lessons of history. could easily slide into what we

:38:31.:38:37.

call a 1930s moment. A moment ultimately leading to downward

:38:37.:38:41.

spiral, that could very much engulf the entire world. To her friends

:38:41.:38:45.

she's the "Trillion Dollar Woman", pushing Europe to help itself,

:38:45.:38:49.

before seeking help from others. has taken one of their own to tell

:38:49.:38:54.

the truth. To critics she's a former French Finance Minister, who

:38:54.:38:59.

is still too soft on her native continent. To put the fox in charge

:38:59.:39:03.

of the hen house is a high-risk strategy. What friend and critics

:39:03.:39:07.

agree on is that Christine Lagarde is a central figure in the biggest

:39:08.:39:11.

financial crisis of our lifetimes. What were you looking for in some

:39:11.:39:16.

where to live? A place where I could see the sky and be able to

:39:16.:39:22.

open windows in the morning. Almost 40 years after interning on Capitol

:39:22.:39:26.

Hill, Christine Lagarde is back in Washington, as the first female

:39:26.:39:30.

head of the International Monetary Fund. We are not walking very fast.

:39:30.:39:36.

Normally I walk a lot faster. I work so hard and such long hours, I

:39:36.:39:40.

don't have much time to exercise. We will pick up the pace for you?

:39:40.:39:45.

Good, good, good. You can wake up every day to a new crisis? Yes.

:39:45.:39:50.

Every morning I wake up and I wonder where is it going to crack.

:39:50.:39:54.

You arrive at work and think how will you fix it? Thank you, I will

:39:54.:39:58.

see you later. The biggest cracks right now are in Europe. In our

:39:58.:40:02.

first interview, Lagarde made it clear, her real fear is that this

:40:02.:40:07.

crisis could easily spread right around the globe. All countries,

:40:07.:40:12.

all economies of the world are likely to be affected by what is

:40:12.:40:15.

happening in one key region of the world. Much more so than at the

:40:15.:40:19.

time of the Latin American crisis or the Asian crisis. That is why

:40:19.:40:23.

Lagarde believes that, like it or not, everyone has an interest in

:40:23.:40:27.

paying for the financial medicine. It is a tough sell when there is so

:40:27.:40:31.

much scepticism over whether the latest bailout has really cured the

:40:31.:40:36.

cause of the illness, Greece. Isn't this really just a sticking

:40:36.:40:40.

plaster for what is effectively a gaping wound? It is a huge big Band

:40:40.:40:47.

Aid in my view. The problem that -- band aid in my view. The problem is,

:40:47.:40:51.

will it be implemented, given the magnitude of efforts that need to

:40:51.:40:55.

be undertaken. Or are you throwing good money after bad money? That is

:40:55.:41:00.

the whole question, it is a question of trust. Do the European

:41:00.:41:06.

partners trust their partner, Greece, to actually deliver on this

:41:06.:41:09.

ambitious programme. But if Greece continues not to deliver, then why

:41:09.:41:15.

is the IMF fighting so hard and paying so much to keep the eurozone

:41:15.:41:20.

intact. The IMF's former chief economist

:41:20.:41:26.

says the fund's fund strategy simply ignores the truth about

:41:26.:41:30.

Greece's finances. The European political leadership and the

:41:30.:41:37.

European bankers have agreed among themselves to pretend this is not a

:41:37.:41:42.

default situation. Madame Lagarde has, on some aspects, hifrpbted at

:41:42.:41:46.

the truth -- hinted at the truth, and perhaps we should commend her

:41:46.:41:50.

for that, relative to the alternatives. But has the IMF come

:41:50.:41:57.

clean, or emphasised, or spoken sufficiently frankly about the true

:41:57.:42:00.

nature of the European problems, wait in which those can still

:42:00.:42:04.

spread within the eurozone, and what you must now do with regard to

:42:04.:42:08.

Italian sovereign debt, I don't think it has. Lagarde bristles at

:42:08.:42:13.

the suggestion that she has given Europe special treatment. I feel

:42:13.:42:18.

very much managing director of the IMF, which includes 188 members,

:42:18.:42:23.

I'm no longer French and European. Lagarde is on her way to Mexico

:42:23.:42:27.

City for the G20 Summit, and she has invited to us join her. How

:42:27.:42:32.

many flights have you taken this year? Oof, too many, but many, many,

:42:32.:42:37.

many, many. If I couldn't sleep on a plane, I couldn't do the job I'm

:42:37.:42:44.

doing. Her job on this trip is to raise an extra $500 million for the

:42:44.:42:48.

IMF. That would double the size of the global firewall, designed to

:42:48.:42:52.

insulate the world's global economy against any worsening of the

:42:52.:43:02.

European crisis. It is on this stage of global finance that

:43:02.:43:07.

Lagarde performs best. She is the rock star for whom the Japanese

:43:07.:43:11.

Finance Minister waits, a little nervously. The woman in a largely

:43:11.:43:17.

male world, who is trying to convince America, Europe, and the

:43:17.:43:21.

increasingly confident emerging economies, to each surrender their

:43:21.:43:27.

domestic political interests to the greater global good. I would love

:43:27.:43:30.

some tea, I haven't had anything today. It is pretty horrible, I

:43:30.:43:34.

made it myself. We caught up with Lagarde and her staff as they

:43:34.:43:39.

planned the G20 sessions. The night before is a dinner with ministers

:43:39.:43:44.

only, ministers and governors of Central Banks only. Today, during

:43:44.:43:49.

the course of the meeting, there will be more people in the room.

:43:49.:43:54.

Generally the dinner is the time when people can make some pointed

:43:54.:43:57.

comments that they would not necessarily make very publicly.

:43:57.:44:00.

country that has no problem saying what it thinks in public is

:44:00.:44:08.

Europe's dominant player. Unflapable, even under the

:44:08.:44:12.

considerable discomfort of five pints of beer down her back, Angela

:44:12.:44:17.

Merkel is resisting pressure to add more funds to Europe's firewall.

:44:17.:44:21.

You have a good relationship with Angela Merkel, isn't it frustrating

:44:21.:44:26.

for you that she won't move faster? It is a matter of patience and

:44:26.:44:29.

resilience, I won't give up. Equally, she does not want to be

:44:29.:44:33.

rushed into a process, unless she has covered all the angles and all

:44:33.:44:39.

the issues. I think it is one of her many, many talents. It is the

:44:39.:44:44.

same way Lagarde herself operates. She's always very good with the

:44:44.:44:46.

British media, does endless Newsnight interviews, we have done

:44:46.:44:52.

it a couple of times as a double act. She has used it to build a

:44:52.:44:56.

powerful alliance of non-eurozone politicians, that includes the man

:44:56.:45:00.

who first nominated her for this job. Christine Lagarde is here in

:45:00.:45:03.

Mexico, effectively with a begging bowl, asking the other countries of

:45:03.:45:08.

the world to step up money for the IMF firewall, will you contribute

:45:08.:45:12.

to that? Britain would only think about contributing if the eurozone

:45:12.:45:16.

puts more money into its own firewall. That is a position that

:45:16.:45:20.

is also shared by the Japanese, the Canadians, the Australians and many

:45:20.:45:23.

other countries in the world. Until we see the colour of the eurozone

:45:23.:45:28.

money, we're not prepared to put our own money in. And right there

:45:28.:45:33.

is Lagarde's biggest hurdle, democratically elected politicians

:45:33.:45:38.

will always put their own interests first. It is the reason tackling

:45:38.:45:42.

global debt has been so hard. It is why, amid signs of progress,

:45:42.:45:49.

Lagarde leaves us with this warning, this crisis isn't over yet.

:45:49.:45:54.

A quick look atom morning's front pages, the Independent has Kristy

:45:54.:45:58.

Bamu on the front page and a story about Vince Cable begging US bosses

:45:58.:46:04.

not to shut the UK car plant. The Vauxhall factory at Ellesmere

:46:04.:46:14.
:46:14.:46:36.

That's all from Newsnight tonight, back with more tomorrow. We wanted

:46:36.:46:46.
:46:46.:46:48.

to leave you with news that 75- year-old Eng lebert Humperdink has

:46:48.:46:53.

been selected by England to represent them in the Eurovision

:46:53.:46:56.

Song Contest, up against Jedward, they have been favourite to win up

:46:56.:47:06.

A report on the murder of teenager Kristy Bamu, accused of involvement in witchcraft then killed by members of his own family.

Thousands of children are sent to the UK every year to live with relatives, but few checks are carried out on the homes they go to, or how they are treated.


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