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you are a young woman living in Nigeria. Living in poverty without an education
or vocational skills, your choices are limited.
How will you
If you're a
single mother, a popular option is to work as a prostitute. Don't expect child
support from your kid's biological father.
Even if you
didn't plan to do this, odds are that you will be duped into the sex trade by
someone offering you a good job.
Ghana, and other nearby African countries, you will earn less than U.S. $3 per
customer. The chances of contracting the HIV virus through unprotected sex are
If you're a
victim of international human trafficking, you may end up in Europe planning to
work in a good job. Instead, you work in a European brothel after being gang
raped by your traffickers. After several years, if you survive, you may be
"lucky" to earn enough to buy your freedom from your traffickers or those they
sold you to.
discovered that the "good job" consisted of prostitution, why you would go
through with it instead of running away or going to the authorities? The power
of African witchcraft is often the cause.
Nigerian sex traffickers use witchcraft "juju" spells to bind their victims to
them. When this spell is placed on you, you're made to believe that you must
pay your traffickers and obey them for their "help." To do otherwise, is to
risk death by magic.
What if you
are able to purchase your freedom?
being deported back to Nigeria as an illegal alien with no assets after years
of working in a foreign brothel. Lacking an education and vocational skills,
you're back where you started but with even less opportunities than you had before
leaving. If you return to your hometown, you have the stigma of being a
prostitute that further decreases your ability to find a means to support
What can be
done to stop Nigerian sex trafficking and protect the human rights of its
victims? At a minimum, the following steps should be taken.
women should be educated on the dangers of sex trafficking, including the
strategies and tactics applied by human traffickers to dupe them into
Government and NGOs should provide education and vocational training that
increases the opportunities for Nigerian women to find work outside of the sex
Nigerian government should crack down on deadbeat fathers, requiring them to
financially support their children.
should be increased enforcement of anti-human trafficking laws designed to deter
sex trafficking locally and internationally. Enhanced penalties should be
considered where witchcraft is used as a tool to coerce women into
where Nigerians work in brothels should grant asylum to sex trafficking victims
rather than deporting them.
The rule of
law must be applied domestically and internationally to both protect Nigerian
women and bring sex traffickers to justice.
Nigerian Sex Trafficking Victims
Abandoned, Voice of
America (Nov. 26, 2012)
Girl, 21, Arrested for Human
Daily Guide (Nov. 26, 2012)
UK jails Nigerian 20 years for
sex trafficking, Nigeria
Daily Times (Oct. 29, 2012)
Nigeria: Human Trafficking -
Nigerian Man Bags 20-Year-Jail Term in UK, All Africa (Oct. 31, 2012)