The trafficking of Nigerian women from Nigeria to Libya then unto Italy by boat is at an alrming rate, with steady rise in traffickers using reception centres as warehouses for these Niegrian women who later retrieved and forced inot prostitution in Italy and across Europe.In 2016, about 180,000 migrants arrived the shores of Italy about 37,000 are Nigerian migrants while 11,009 are Nigerian women acording to statistics by Intenational Organisation for Migration (IOM). About 4,000 Nigerian women arrived by boat into Italy in the first six months of last year almost double the number who were registered in the same time period the previous year. then more than 80% of these women will be trafficked into prostitution in Italy and environs.
Most of these women arrive in Italy already a victim of sex trafficking and any hve been subjected to serious and weird sexual exploitaions on their journey, many already forced into prostitution in Libya. Most of these women arrive in Italy with debts of 40,000euros to about 60,000euros for their journey from Nigeria to Italy which they are expected to pay back and a stipulated amount of time. These woman are being lured with false promises and superstituous traditional ceremonies to recruit and gain psychological control over these women and they are led to believe teribble things will happen to their families if they fail to honur their debts, they are then forced into prostitution on streets and brothels across Europe.
Now with the civil unrest in Libya these traffickings have been become harder and only very organised trafficking gangs and only Nigerian and Eritrean trafficking gangs that are able to transport large numbers of people through the country. And after suffering the ordeal of such travels will now embark on the fearful journey of travelling by sea to Italy in a boat and there by ending up in reception centres in Italy or specilist centres where they are processed. These women are given a phone number when they live Nigeria, which they use to notify a contact in Italy of their arrival in the country. Then these contacts mostly wait till the woman has her residence permit or refugee status document and they just go pick them up from these centres which is so alarming.
It would go a long way if the government of these countries and our Government help in indenitfying these women as they eneter into Libya and treated as trafficking victims instead of the normal procedures for asylum seekers and taken to where they can be given advice and awareness in order to break the sexual exploitation because most of these women tend to be forceful defiled and slept with by various men in order to make them accept the reality of prostitution as their only means of survival in Euope and only means of being back their debts owed to the traffickers. These will help because te numbers of these cases of sex trafficking keeps multiplying by the day and they end up being abused and robbed of their fundamental human rights.
. BY BUMNARIS PHILIP MIYANI . DEPARTMENT OF MASS COMMUNICATION ,UNIVERSITY OF MAIDUGURI