UNITED NATIONS OFFICE ON DRUGS AND CRIME - Thousands of women are continually trafficked from West Africa to Europe in a multi-million dollar criminal industry.
The women come from Nigeria and to a lesser extent Sierra Leone, Ghana, Cameroon and Guinea. They are usually taken to Italy, as well as the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and other countries. With an estimated value of between $152 million and $228 million annually, the market sees a yearly inflow of between 3800 and 5700 women. It is estimated that West African trafficking victims comprise about 10 per cent of the forced sexual labour pool in Western Europe.
Research shows that known traffickers themselves are Nigerian (mainly from the federal state of Edo) who reside both Nigeria and in destination countries. In both Europe and Africa, detected traffickers are more likely to be women (referred to as madams) than men. Men are often involved in supervising the travel, but, increasingly, they are also exploiters or recruiters. The growing involvement of men appears to be associated with growing levels of violence in the business.
The modern European market for trafficked women from West Africa began in Italy in the 1980s and in the Netherlands in the early 1990s. Women of the Edo ethnic group from Benin city in Nigeria (colloquially known as "Binis") began to migrate to Europe in search of work, and found a market for sexual services. They began to recruit other women from their region, fronting the money for travel and creating a system of debt bondage that evolved into human trafficking...
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LINK TO FULL 103 PAGE REPORT "Transnational Trafficking and the Rule of Law in West Africa: A Threat Assessment"