The Sexuality Blog: This PBS report puts a human face on the victims of the Nigeria/Italy sex trade

Sex trade

According to reports, there are literally no families in Edo state that have not been directly affected the Edo/Italy trafficking-sex trade. That means there are literally no indigenous families from Edo who do not either have someone or know someone who was/is directly involved in forced sex work in Europe. For those of us whose circumstances have not allowed us to understand on a visceral what this means, it might feel like empty statistics but it is not. For the people directly or indirectly involved, it means they know someone who has been raped or tortured, they know someone who has risked being exposed to sexually transmitted infections, and has suffered isolation from their families.

We can see the plight of the estimated 300,000 women who have been trafficked to Europe in the last 20 years as empty numbers because there hasn’t been as much of a concerted effort by Nigerians to document the plight of these women. Especially now, that this epidemic is back in the news after 26 Nigerian teenagers aged 14 to 18 were found murdered at sea while being trafficked to Italy. We’ve decided to bring back this investigative report done by the journalistic non-profit PBS, zeroing in on the lives of former trafficked Nigerian women in Italy, and the betrayal and brutality that has defined their lives. It is a hard read, but an important one, if we will truly understand the kind of desperation that forces these women to follow complete strangers across the ocean to a land where they know no one and have no safety nets.

We hope this, provides some much-needed context, and if I dare, empathy.

Please read the report here.

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