As I begin my research on the topic of human trafficking in Nigeria, I cannot help but observe that many people who become victims of this crime do so due to the situation in the country. Many of them would rather seek out the uncertainty of a new land, some even risking death in the process, than to live in Nigeria or any of the other countries in West Africa where people often try to migrate to Europe from. Nigeria is a source, transit and destination point for many criminal trafficking networks operating in Africa, and the majority of their victims are women. According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 11,000 women and 3,000 children who arrived by sea in Italy in 2016 were from Nigeria. More than half the victims have been sexually exploited, according to recent data from the UN migration agency (Human Rights Watch Report 2019). The agency estimates that more than 10,000 Nigerians stranded in Libya and other countries have been repatriated between April 2017 and October 2018 (IOM Press Release 2018). One might ask, why is there such a large number of Nigerian migrants moving (or being moved) to these areas, especially considering the fact that Libya is a treacherous destination and route for migrants seeking to go to Europe. The answer to this is both complicated and simple, but ultimately, it goes back to one thing – they are fleeing economic hardship. Adaura is one example of the many cases like this of young men and women who willingly embark on journeys across the unforgiving Sahara desert and into Libya. She, like others, became victims who were trafficked across Africa and Europe by “criminal networks” who lured them in with job offers that never materialized (Adebayo 2019). She was promised a job making over $400 a month (or nearly ₦142,000 in Nigerian Naira) as a domestic worker in Libya, which is a fortune for an 18-year old living in abject poverty in Nigeria with limited job opportunities. Little did she know that she would become part of a sex trafficking ring, enduring years of physical and sexual abuse (Ibid).
You Pray for Death
As I begin my research on the topic of human trafficking in Nigeria, I cannot help but observe that many people who become victims..