UN- 80 per cent of Nigerian girls in Italy are into prostitution

The United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM) has said that about eighty per cent of Nigerian women who arrived Italy by boat in the first half of 2016 were trafficked for prostitution.
 The UN’s International Office for Migration (IOM) said about 3,600 Nigerian women arrived by boat into Italy in the first six months of this year, almost double the number who were registered in the same time period last year.
“What we have seen this year is a crisis, it is absolutely unprecedented and is the most significant increase in the number of Nigerian women arriving in Italy for 10 years,” said Simona Moscarelli, anti-trafficking expert at the IOM.“
Our indicators are the majority of these women are being deliberately brought in for sexual exploitation purposes. There has been a big enhancement of criminal gangs and trafficking networks engaging in the sexual exploitation of younger and younger Nigerian girls.”
Most Nigerian women who arrive in Italy are already victims of trafficking, many have been subjected to serious sexual exploitation on their journey. Many are forced into prostitution in Libya,
“The women we are seeing are increasingly young, many are unaccompanied minors when they arrive and the violence and exploitation they face when they are under the control of these gangs is getting worse. They are really treated like slaves.”
Salvatore Vella, the deputy chief prosecutor in Agrigento, Sicily, who led the first significant investigation of Nigerian trafficking rings in Italy in 2014, said that the reception centres are increasingly being used as pick-up points by those intending to exploit Nigerian women.
The Nigerian women are given a phone number when they leave Nigeria, which they use to inform a contact in Italy that they have arrived.
“The mobsters just come to the camp and pick [women] up,” he says. “As easy as going to a grocery store. That’s what these women are treated like, objects to trade, buy, exploit and resell and the reception centres are acting as a sort of warehouse where these girls are temporarily stocked.
“They wait until the woman has her residence permit or refugee status document and then they just go and pick her up.”
Many Nigerian women arrive in Italy with debts of about £40,000 for their journey from Nigeria to Italy, which they are expected to pay back.
Nigerian trafficking gangs use a toxic mix of false promises of legitimate employment and traditional “juju” ceremonies to recruit and gain psychological control over their victims.
The women are led to believe that terrible things will happen to their families if they fail to honour their debts. They are then forced into prostitution on streets and brothels across Europe.

UK guardian

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