Dreams spin sex worker nightmares for Nigeria’s trafficked women


They arrive in their hundreds any month, their heads full of dreams of new lives in Europe. In reality, many of them are unfailing for years of passionate slavery.

And in Italy’s migrant-saturated southern ports, prising these immature Nigerian girls divided from their traffickers is a challenging challenge.

With any new alighting of migrants discovered during sea, a well-worn guess procedures have an roughly ritualistic aspect to them: a initial marker interview, cuddly toys for a children and a dilettante from a International Organization for Migration profitable sold courtesy to any immature women.

Nigerian females have been alighting in Italy in poignant numbers given a 1980s, lured by a pledge of jobs usually to find themselves with gigantic debts to a traffickers who got them here.

The trade has exploded in new years. According to IOM figures, 433 Nigerian women arrived in 2013, 1,454 in 2014, 5,653 final year and 7,768 in a initial 9 months of 2016.

“We guess that between 70 and 80 percent of them are in risk of being forced into prostitution,” pronounced a IOM’s Luca Pianese, adding that a numbers do not embody hundreds of minors.

Some of a women will finish adult operative on a streets of Italy, others in France, Spain, Austria or other European countries where direct seems to grow incessantly.

Pianese, who works as partial of a 13-strong group that includes dual women of Nigerian origin, has schooled how to mark a signs that newly arrived women have been trafficked.

Most of a victims come from Edo state in southern Nigeria, they constantly have had usually a many simple preparation and contend they can remember small about how they got from Nigeria to a Mediterranean.

– Smashing dreams –

Usually a women have a phone series they have been told to call when they arrive.

Sometimes they will be accompanied by a minder. “You have to apart them from fake sisters and fake husbands,” pronounced Pianese.

Then comes a unpleasant bit. “They arrive here full of hope, assured they are headed for a improved future,” a assist workman says.

“Unfortunately a avocation is to pound their dream.”

That involves explaining that a destiny envisaged for these immature women involves prolonged hours perched on a corner of out-the-way roads, servicing 10 to 20 clients a day for reduction than 20 euros (dollars) a time with no pledge that some of a punters will not be violent.

There is also some certain news to be shared: Italian law guarantees residency rights and amicable support to women trafficked for prostitution, even if they have not got to a theatre of being forced to sell their bodies in Italy.

Despite that, a IOM says hardly 300 women supposed such assistance between a start of 2015 and a finish of August.

According to Nigerian nun Monica Chikwe, who coordinates a network of protected houses for trafficked African women, that is not surprising.

In Nigeria, “no one tells a truth” and when they hear about Europe “all a girls can see are sequins”, she says.

For many, abuse and assault starts en route, in sold in Libya. Yet a grade of thankfulness persists alongside fear of a people smugglers who, after all, have delivered on their pledge to get them to Europe.

– 50,000 euro debt –

Even those women savvy adequate to think that all competence not be as it has been presented to them have small thought of a assault that awaits them — or how tough it will be for them to repay a debts they have incurred.

Typically this will be between 20,000 and 50,000 euros (dollars).

“These are sums approach above what other migrants have paid,” says Maurizio Scalia, a open prosecutor in Palermo in Sicily who has been assisting to lane down particular traffickers and now wants to enhance a range of his review to “get a design of a whole system”.

Adding to a problems concerned in outstanding a smugglers’ business indication is a fact that many of a victims have taken partial in spell ceremonies before they leave Nigeria and fear reprisals opposite their families if they do not compensate behind their debts.

As a result, many of them will say a hard overpower until they strech accepting centres, where traffickers will come to find them. In such cases, all a IOM can do is give them an puncture series they can call during any time.

Sometimes it works. Earlier this month Sicilian military were means to acquit a immature Nigerian who had landed on Oct 24 and dialled for assistance after being kidnapped by 3 of her compatriots and told she would have to prostitute herself to repay 30,000 euros.

The toll-free series perceived some 150 calls in 2015 and a initial half of this year.

Faced with a pointy boost of immature women opposed a same plight, a Italian supervision recently allocated 15 million euros to settle dilettante accepting centres.

They are already scarcely all full.

© 2016 AFP

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