Human Traffic Watch

Nigerian Sex Trafficking Victims Abandoned

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on December 1, 2012 at 8:57 am

For many Nigerian victims of sex trafficking, coming home is as hard as the trip.  In Edo State, sometimes the same kind of so-called “magic” that binds victims to traffickers is used to set them free.

After five years of sex work on the streets in Italy, Patience Ken had paid $40,000 to her madam, essentially buying her freedom.  Before she could make any money of her own, she was arrested and thrown into a Roman jail.

Months later, she was handcuffed and brought to the airport.  From there, she was shipped back to Nigeria.  After she landed, they told her she was free.  She fainted.

“They said I am free, so there I got faint,” she recalled.  “I got faint because what am I going to do?   Where am I going to start from?  There is no money.  I am stranded.  No clothes.  Only the clothes that I am putting on.  Only the shoes that I am putting on.”

Ken sold her mobile phone to pay for her trip back to her village in Edo State, where most Nigerian sex trafficking victims in Europe originate.  When she arrived, her family was not happy to see another mouth to feed.

Neighbors whispered: “Had she been a prostitute?  Why then did she have no money?”

Source: Voice of America

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