Is Nigeria a Hotspot for Human Trafficking?

Hausa     Nigerian Pidgin

The Situation

Sexual exploitation illustration showing neon sign and cashIt is widely reported that traffickers are targeting communities in and around Benin City. In particular, young women and girls are being trafficked into sexual exploitation through false employment promises. It is estimated that 80% of Nigerian women who arrive in Italy by boat are trafficked into prostitution. They are first transported to Kano in Northern Nigeria on their way to Libya via Niger.

What happens?

Sometimes the women and girls are aware that they will be working in the sex industry in Libya and Europe, but do not realise they will be:

  • Forced into prostitution and receive no payment
  • Exploited in Libya for months before being put onto unsafe boats bound for Europe
  • Potentially left to die in the Sahara desert
  • Subjected to continuous physical and sexual abuse throughout their journey

False stories of success and a better life in Italy are sent back to family and friends.

In Europe

Compliance and control are achieved through:

  • Physical, emotional and sexual abuse
  • Confiscation of identity documents and restriction of movement
  • Debt bondage
  • Threats of violence to family members
  • Juju oaths
  • Unfounded threats of deportation

If you suspect human trafficking

Photo of woman holding a smartphone

If you are suspicious, contact the authorities

You can contact NAPTIP on 070 30000 203

If anyone has approached you or someone you know, and it did not feel quite right, contact:

Society for the Empowerment of Young Persons (SEYP)

Tel: +234 80233 43972

WhatsApp: +234 8051 656 202

What can you do?



Here are some examples of campaign posts in Benin City and Kano. These provided intelligence on the core human trafficking issues within Nigeria.

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