Horrible Photos Depicting The Lives Of Nigerian Refugees Forced Into Prostitution In Italy [Images]

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Recently, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) announced that Nigerian asylum seekers account for more than half of Italy’s street prostitutes.

According to UNHCR officials, these refugees are mostly teenagers, and are recruited in their home country by human traffickers who promise them lucrative jobs in Italy.

However, upon their arrival in Italy, they are forced to sell sex in order to pay for the traveling expenses the traffickers spent on them.

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Horrifyingly, the traffickers traffic these teenage girls through dangerous routes. The girls are put in overcrowded buses and are transported across the Sahara (a vast desert in Africa) to North Africa.

In North Africa, especially in Libya where there is no functioning government, the girls are put into small overcrowded boats to be transported across the Mediterranean Sea to Italy. In some instances, this dangerous crossing is unsuccessful and many of the girls are left to drown in the water. According to the Telegraph, roughly 1,800 African migrants have died whilst attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea by boat in 2015.

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Once the lucky ones arrive in Italy, the traffickers then force them to fabricate stories that give the impression that the girls are being persecuted by Boko Haram militants. Boko Haram is a self-proclaimed Islamic jihadist movement based in northern Nigeria. The group has pledged allegiance to ISIS. Human rights groups estimate that Boko Haram has killed some 20,000 people, and has displaced a further 2.3 million vulnerable people from their homes.

People affected by the displacement of Boko Haram attacks, are mainly those living in the north of Nigeria. The girls being trafficked are primarily recruited from the Central, Eastern, Western, and Southern parts of the country. Poverty in these areas makes these girls vulnerable to the traffickers. According to statistics, some 9,350 Nigerian women requested asylum in Italy in the first half of 2015, the largest group by country.

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The girls are almost immediately granted refugee status by Italian authorities, and are forced into prostitution by the traffickers. Some of them are taken to the countryside, where the traffickers will arrange for clients to have sex with them in makeshift camps.

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Thereafter, the girls are restricted to these camps by the traffickers. It is said the traffickers use Voodoo rituals to scare the girls and convince them that they will die if the try to run away from the camps. Voodoo is a mystical religion that is mostly practiced by people in West African countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, and others.

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In the Venice area in northern Italy, these Nigerian prostitute camps are common. Claudio Donadel, the city’s council official, has worked to bring Nigerians off the streets for 20 years. He told the UNHCR, that the girls have to do the prostitution for some years in order to pay back the debt they owe the traffickers.

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“They need to work for up to three years to pay off the debt to the trafficker, and voodoo rites in Nigeria and Italy are used to scare them. In the last decade, 10,000 women have been trafficked from Nigeria and there are 3,000-4,000 on the streets every night, up to half the street prostitutes in Italy,” he said.

Currently, there are about 10,000 to 20,000 Nigerian sex workers in Italy. And because they are operating illegally in the country, criminal gangs often exploit them. Some sex workers earn as little as 10 Euros.

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In early 2015, Paolo Patrizi, an Italian photographer, had full access to a camp operated by Nigerian prostitutes. The images he documented from the camps are both shocking and disturbing.

With only a mattress, the prostitutes provide sex services to their clients in the bush. Used condoms and other disturbing materials were captured by the photographer.

For over 20 years, girls from Benin City, a town in the state of Edo in the south-central part of Nigeria, have traveled to Italy to work in the sex trade. And every year, ‘successful’ girls are sent to recruit younger girls to follow in their footsteps.

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Due to these developments, the Italian authorities are gradually becoming more cautious when accepting African asylum seekers. In 2015 alone, the country turned down about half of the 43,000 asylum applications it received. It has since flown about 3,800 African migrants, mostly Nigerians, home.

But the Italian charity group, Be Free has urged the Italian government not to send these vulnerable girls home, as it will further exacerbate their situation.

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Be Free said the girls are sent home because of the false stories they tell regarding their status, but on humanitarian grounds, the government should consider their situation.

“They are rejected because of the false stories their traffickers give them, but deserve protection because they have been trafficked. If they go home they can be forced back into prostitution,” an official of Be Free, Francesca De Masi said.


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25 COMMENTS

  1. As Italian I can tell it’s true, sadly the streets are full of Nigerian prostitute who came here, generally without the visa and so not in the condition to work legally, and get used by evil people as sort of sex slave. But I also have to say that the mafia of prostitution on the street is made not by Italian but by other immigrant, often by the same country.
    Probably this problem could be solved legalising prostitution and fighting strongly illegal immigration (that doesn’t mean block immigrants but give them the possibility to work honestly and expel the ones who doesn’t)

    • Just commenting to say that it’s wonderful to see a sensible and reasonable comment, seems so rare nowadays. Italians need to fight that with legalization and support, not as crime or a plague.

    • For thousands years different rulers were trying to eradicate prostitution by bans and punishments – it never worked. Despite this millenia long experience there are still rulers who think or pretend to think that ban is the solution. And as Italy is one of Europe’s Catholic strongholds and even Vatican is there with all the “wise guys who know everything”, especially about life, don’t expect a rational solution any soon.

    • Very intelligent and logical response. I have been saying this for years, and sadly, “moralists” will scream loudly to stop it, as they are sure to make more off of it being in the hidden economy than in the primary economy. Well said anyway Canapus.

    • I’m italian too, and this is the sadly true. The problem is, not only Nigerian… chinese mafia have chinese prostitute and much more from all europe. The true problem in italy is the Government it is founded in originally by real mafia… and now is very hard have the real freedom inside.
      Nice comment Cannapus.

  2. It’s really true that the fact is hard to say let’s say the truth and let the devil being ashamed will all know that the streets in Italy is full of Africa prostitution especially Nigeria girls, Nigeria girls are turning prostitution to a self employments which is not supposed to been, where you will see a husband and wife that marriage there have children the wife will be doing prostitution for the family to survive as for me if dearest work them will not be doing prostitution, not only woman even men that have documents then don’t have work so what Italian government expect them to do beging and prostitutes so let could a space a space give them work them will stop norses please that what I have to comment.

    • I’m a Nigerian even if Italian government give them work to do, they
      will still work as prostitute. The best thing for Italian govt to is to send them back to Nigeria. This people are disgracing we Nigerians abroad. Go to Germany, France, Netherland, Belgium there still doing prostitute. I disagree that this girls were forced to do prostitute, they know what they are coming to do in Italy already before living the shore of Nigeria. Italian government should ask anyone who ask for asylu! In the name of boko harram to speak Hausa language. Anyone one who fail to do so should be sent back immediately. The Northern part of Nigeria speak Hausa language, anyone who fail to do so is a liar.

  3. 90% of this girls know what they are getting into, this has been going on for over twenty five years, it is well known in Nigeria that any woman going to Italy is for prostitution the ones who can’t cope or get caught cry “Victim”….it is not uncommon to see parents put down part payment or encourage their daughters to go to Italy (Europe) and do whatever the others have done to make money, asylum and work guarantee means cash flow, Europe can continue swallowing “I am a victim” story.
    I am a Nigerian and I see and know what I’m talking about.

    • Regarding the comment “90% of this girls know what they are getting into, this has been going on for over twenty five years, it is well known in Nigeria that any woman going to Italy is for prostitution the ones who can’t cope or get caught cry” –

      I’m very lucky to have been born a female in a country with a supportive family – I can ASSURE you, my first choice for education, employment or life was NEVER considered to be a prostitute – I did not even know what that was until I was at least 16 years old. It is a shame that these women feel that this is the way their life should or want to be, perhaps they have not had the privilege and luck I have had to be granted free and useful education with a supportive and safe household and family?
      I believe your comment is quite harsh without understanding the complexities behind individual hardship and life that has led them to make these choices – some may choose this life, but I believe not all.

      • I’ve seen girls volunteered and showing their prowess in prostitution back here in Nigeria just for them to go to Europe and expand their businesses.Jabiru saying 90% of these girls having the knowledge of what they are going to do is a fact

        • Dear Concerned Nigerian – I understand, and if that is what they want, then that is ok with me. I would hope (and am sure) that they would want to work in reputable and safe environments not in the pictures depicted above (especially if “girls volunteered and showing their prowess in prostitution” – then STI’s and other diseases would cut their business life dramatically).
          What I am saying, is with other options, education and support that this is not the ‘easiest way to make money’ or ‘a way to make money’ – that this was not part of their ‘real world understanding’on HOW to make money…. Imagine if these girls did not know about prostitution from younger? You might find artists, interpreters, teachers, high class call girls, chefs, mothers, – more options and choices in life. Surely you can agree with that?

  4. Sad thing is, despite what the italian gov can do, it will keep happening, best they can do is legalise it, make a national “set” amount to charge, so these girls if they have to work, can work off the debt quicker and be done with the scumbags who put them there in the first place, then hopefully, get them into rehab and therapy so they can cope with what they had to do, after all this, lets hope they can go on to find proper work and not be back out on the streets, people can poke holes in what I have said, but its the best solution I could come up with

  5. Unfortunately, like Russia, Italy, Mexico, China, Japan, and Brazil, Nigeria has it’s own notorious international crime groups. The Nigerian Mafia being one. The Nigeria Mafia operates all over Africa and participates in all the horrendous crimes. Weapon trafficking, Drug trafficking, and human trafficking. I live in Southern African region and we see Nigerian prostitutes on our streets daily but the police turn a blind eye and sometime participate. Some of them are unfortunately underage.

  6. Am not being harsh,but statics rates that recently girls,leaving their continent or country to europe,95% of them are aware of outcome in Europe,its all in the mind,taken to their country worsen the case,my suggestion,these Ladies need a spiritual guidance,a rehabilitation centre to delete all wrong information they have about getting money in life,they also need to project them to dig within themselves,they all have what they can provide to the world to make money…the question lies is who will bail the cat?,all this involves money and time

  7. I’m trying to locate the source of this article – in particular, “Italian charity group, Be Free” – can anyone help publish the link to their website please?
    Cannot locate them at all via web except linked to this article.

    Thank you

  8. Does anyone here knows about The Venus Project? If not, go to their website thevenusproject.com

    The Venus Project proposes an alternative vision of what the future can be if we apply what we already know in order to achieve a sustainable new world civilization. It calls for a straightforward redesign of our culture in which the age-old inadequacies of war, poverty, hunger, debt and unnecessary human suffering are viewed not only as avoidable, but as totally unacceptable…
    …One of the basic premises of The Venus Project is that we work towards having all of the Earth’s resources as the common heritage of all the world’s people. Anything less will simply result in a continuation of the same catalog of problems inherent in the present system…

  9. I am a Nigerian,a social worker by profession,the truth is that the ideal mind is the devil workshop,give them work let them pay their taxes the prostitution rate will drop thou can not be eradicated completely

  10. I have never been to Italy but I must say here in Moscow it is the same. Many Nigerian prostitutes are on the streets. Even more Nigerian women are on Internet on Moscow prostitute websites, offering sex for money. There are not less Nigerian prostitutes than Russians on these websites, can you imagine? And that is in Russia!!! Most of these women know very well that they will do prostitution in Russia and they agree, although their families are not dying of hunger in Nigeria. Many of them are even proud of their prostitute job. Look at their pages on Facebook : “Am princess”, “am queen of queens”, “nobody can stop me” Such words they write on their profiles. Most of these prostitutes have Nigerian boyfriends who share their women with Russian clients with pleasure! Some of these men are married and have wives in Russia or in Nigeria, but it does not stop them. They write to prostitutes “I love you” and such. And prostitutes answer “You are the love of my life, nobody can come between us” and such stuff. Prostitutes support these men materially. These people forgot what means to be a woman and what means to be a man.

  11. Comment:Hmmm! Nigerian government is to be blamed. Have you ever seen an american prostitue in Africa before? Big shame on African countries who cannot take good care of their citizens

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