It has been widely reported that traffickers target 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.
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
Once victims arrive 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
False stories of success and a better life in Europe are sent back to family and friends.
If you are concerned you’ve witnessed trafficking activity it is important you report it to the appropriate organisation, so long as you feel that it is safe to do so.
National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP)
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) is the Federal Government of Nigeria’s response to addressing the scourge of trafficking in persons. It is a fulfillment of the country’s international obligation under the Trafficking in Persons Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, supplementing the United Nations Transnational Organized Crime Convention (UNTOC).