Monday, December 8, 2008

Ireland: Trafficked Girl Can Avail of Protection in Nigeria

IRELAND - In the case of a Nigerian girl trafficked into Ireland for the purpose of prostitution, it was open to a member of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal to decide, based on the material before him, that state protection would be available to her were she to return to Nigeria, and therefore to reject her application for refugee status.

The case was first brought on behalf of the girl by a social worker, as the girl was under 18. She was in the care of the HSE following a Garda raid on a house in Sligo where she was found with two other girls and taken into care. She has since reached the age of 18 and was pursuing the case herself.

Following her displacement from her home village to Lagos, she met a woman who said she would help her find work outside Nigeria. This woman brought her to a shrine where a ritual was performed and she had to swear not to run away.

The boyfriend of this woman brought her to Ireland via Frankfurt, London and Belfast. She was told she would have to work as a prostitute to earn €60,000, and that she would be killed if she tried to escape. She met two other Nigerian girls in the house in Sligo, and three days later they were all rescued by the Garda raid. Two of them were placed in HSE care in Chester House, and the third elsewhere.

CCTV footage shows that some time later three unidentified Nigerian woman came to Chester House looking for the girls. The applicant remained in her room but the other girl disappeared, as did the third girl, who later turned up in a brothel in the UK.

An application was made in November 2006 for asylum on behalf of the applicant, who cited her fear of violence in her home village and her fear of the shrine in Lagos as grounds for her application. Evidence was given on her behalf by a member of the Garda Síochána and a social worker. The officer in the Office of Refugee Applications Commissioner made several negative findings in relation to her credibility, and refugee status was refused...


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