Tag Archives: human trafficking

Nigeria Sex Slavery in Italy

[Italy, Sicily, September 2016] Young, exhausted and vulnerable, many victims report being told prostitution is the only way to repay hefty debts ranging from 25,000 to 100,000 euros ($28,000-$112,000) to their traffickers, Italian charities say. Fear plays a large part in the juju rituals, with pubic hair, fingernails and blood collected from the victim as she is made to swear never to report her situation to the authorities, rights groups say. In some cases, fearing the juju “spell” may be turned on them and they may die, Nigerian parents insist their daughters obey their traffickers, testimony from Italian court documents shows…With numbers of Nigerians rising in Sicily, prostitution is a thriving business, campaigners say – though nobody knows exactly how many women end up plying their trade on the streets…

The new arrivals are also stretching the workload of the International Organization for Migration [IOM}, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and local charities, aid workers say. “It is reaching a stage where it is out of control,” said Margherita Limoni, a legal advisor with the IOM in Catania.  The number of Nigerian women arriving in Italy has almost doubled in the past year, surpassing 6,300 in the first eight months of 2016, up from 3,400 for the same period last year, according to the IOM.

Excerpts Rise in Nigerian sex slavery in Italy fuelled by violence and juju magic, Reuters, Sept. 29, 2016

 

Migrants in a Gated World

The bodies of 92 people, almost all women and children, have been found in the Sahara desert. Rescuers said the people had died of thirst after their vehicle broke down during their attempt to reach Algeria from Niger…The group was discovered after survivors reached Arlit on foot. Local experts said that the people were victims of human trafficking and were believed to have died two weeks ago as they tried to walk 12 miles in scorching sun to reach a well after the lorry they were travelling in broke down leaving them stranded.  Sources in Niger said that the group, who began their perilous journey across the desert in late September, was comprised of local people from Zinder, the second largest city in southern Niger, close to the border with Nigeria.

One security expert stressed that the group were not economic migrants but victims of trafficking.  Moussa Akfar, a security expert based in Niamey, Niger’s capital, said: “This was in fact a case of poor people and children who were being trafficked to Algeria. There is an inquiry underway but we know that this was trafficking because economic migrants go to Libya – in Libya you find people of all nationalities, from Nigeria, Cameroon and other countries, heading to Europe.  “In this case all the victims were Nigerien from Zinder, and they were being trafficked. The questions that have to be asked now is how officials on road checkpoints did not alert the authorities about this group. There is endemic corruption at work.”..

Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world and has been rocked by repeated food crises in recent years. Last year Save the Children termed Niger the worst place in the world to be a mother amid its warnings that continuing poverty levels were driving people to undertake life-threatening journeys to higher income nations.  While many in Niger said that the October deaths were linked to trafficking, Algeria being the intended destination, Rhissa Feltou, the mayor of Arlit, said the group could have been trying to reach Europe.

Excerpt, Niger migrants died from thirst, after stranding in Sahara desert, Guardian, Oct. 31, 2011