'I'm A Soldier': Song for child trafficking victim soars up Amazon music chart

Bronwen Weatherby

A song dedicated to a child trafficking victim who faces being kicked out of the UK has burst onto the Amazon music charts, reaching second in the 'Top Seller' list above Ed Sheeran, Mariah Carey and Madness.

The track 'I'm A Soldier', released by artist Stevie-D-Red, supports a campaign to stop a teenager called Samet, who was trafficked to the country aged 15, from deportation.

It is hoped it will raise awareness of the plight of all child victims who have been refused asylum in the UK.

The tune reached number one on the online retailer's Movers and Shakers chart on Wednesday in both the Albums and Songs category.

By Wednesday night it had risen to number two on their Top Sellers chart above a number of big-name artists.

It is second only to 'When A Child Is Born', sang by six-year-old Lyra Cole, who has released the single to raise funds to find a cure for brain tumours.

Stevie-D, a work colleague of Samet's foster dad John Stokes, dedicated his song to all child victims who have been refused asylum with a hope it would boost Samet's campaign.

Samet, who is originally from Albania, was smuggled into the country by a human trafficking gang and was later found in a lorry by British authorities.

Child services sent Samet to live with veteran foster father Mr Stokes in Bristol where he went to school and became a part of the family along with his two foster brothers.

It hit the number two spot on Wednesday night

It was revealed Samet was forced by his family and then gangs to beg on the streets from age 11 and had experienced years of hardship and trauma at the hands of perpetrators of modern slavery.

The Home Office denied Samet asylum when he turned 18 years old despite the family believing there is a strong possibility Samet could end up back in the hands of the trafficking gangs if he is sent back to his country of birth.

Mr Stokes, who described the 18-year-old as "my family", set up a change.org petition to convince the Home Office to let him stay.

A number of high-profile names have backed the campaign including Broadchurch actor Joe Sims.

Over a quarter of a million people have now signed the petition.

I'm A Soldier, which costs £0.59, reached fourth place on Amazon's top seller chart by Tuesday night.

The track has hit number one in Amazon's Movers and Shakers chart (Musicworks1)

Mr Stokes said: "Six and a half weeks ago I asked a few people for help and a quarter of a million people turned up. I can't take it in.

"Then we released the song this week and Stevie-D dedicated to Samet and all the other kids who are underground and hiding because they've been refused asylum. We hoped it would bring awareness, like the petition did, we didn't realise it would would be downloaded so many times.

"I've spoken to people who've got a problem with migrants who are fully behind this because they realise this shouldn't be happening to children.

"Samet is one young lad who just wants to be a carpenter and he's won people's hearts.

"When everyone is surrounded by politics, lies and Brexit which has polarised us, this is one thing that unites us, because decent people can see this is wrong."

The pop and dance song is described by it's creator as a "marching song".

Written from his experience of serving in the British Army, he felt its words such as, "box me up and send me home", fit Samet's campaign.

Stevie-D-Red currently works with Mr Stokes in a project called Musicworks but used to perform under the name Sir Prize, and had a number of hit songs in Germany in the 1990s, including one called 'Declaration'.

They are continuing to fight Samet's case and are going through a lengthy appeals process. They now have the help of a top barrister who is a specialist in the field of human trafficking.

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