16 Nigerian Women Retrieved From Prost*tution In Europe
According to CNN, Sixteen Nigerian women are rescued after they had been threatened with death and tricked to work as prostitutes in return for passage to Spain, the European Union’s law enforcement agency revealed.
Eleven people were detained in Zaragoza, Spain, in relation to the trafficking plot, Europol stated, adding that their offender community operated mainly in Spain, Italy, Germany, and Denmark.
The women reflect a current wave of Nigerians who’ve headed to Europe from Benin City, where poverty and conventional witchcraft suffocate opportunity. The journey could be fraught for women and girls, who face a specific risk of abuse, experts revealed.
Main migration routes from Nigeria to Europe
Promised a better life in Spain, the 16 women were moved by land from Nigeria to Libya, then to Italy by sea, and from there into Spain, Europol said.
“Once on the Spanish territory they were handed over to a madam and forced into prostitution until they paid off their debt,” the agency said.
Voodoo threats leveled by traffickers
The women also were pressured under voodoo threats to pledge to pay for their transport and not to report their exploiters to police, Europol said.
“This method, used by criminal organizations with women from Western Africa, aims to control women under threat of death for them or their family members if they do not comply with that commitment,” the agency said.
In some cases, traffickers can control their victims using phone contact alone, Europol said.
Women and girls at risk for exploitation.
The amount of future sex-trafficking victims coming in Italy by sea has increased by 600% since 2014, with the majority of victims coming from Nigeria, a July report by the International Organization for Migration estimates.
Eighty percent of women and girls arriving from Nigeria to Europe are potential victims of trafficking for sexual abuse, the group estimates, noting that exploitation of younger women for trafficking is alarming.