The number of victims originating from sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria in particular, has considerably increased: 28% of dismantled networks in 2016 were Nigerian (8% in 2015). Almost 15% of identified victims in 2017 were Nigerian, compared to 10% in 2016. “Today it is the primary foreign community to be sexually exploited in France,” explained Jean-Marc Droguet, the Director of the Office Central pour la Répression de la Traite des Etres Humains (OCRTEH) (La Croix, May 16, 2018). Amongst these victims, NGOs report a growing number of underage individuals involved under the age of 15, (even 11) and are concerned about the constant rejuvenation of the victim population as it continues to decline in age: in 2015, out of the 100 Nigerian prostituted persons identified in Paris, 25% were under the age of 15 (GRETA, July 6, 2017).
Networks today rely on immigration patterns in Sahelian Africa; victims are moved by smugglers to Libyan camps where they are placed in very harsh living conditions, waiting to be sold to procurers based in Europe. The procedure is always the same: recruited by the networks in their native country, the victims are subjected to spells (Juju) that keep them in a state of vulnerability and extreme submission due to their beliefs and fears of retaliation. Some young women’s families leave them with ‘mamas’, who charm them with false promises of employment or education. The young women are then required to reimburse their endless debt (travel, passport, etc).
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