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Ezeiolo challenges Italy on human trafficking

23 September 2013, 09:28Okoro Chinedu

Lagos - Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, called on Italy to further boost and coordinate its national anti-trafficking response.

The official said this following concerns of a surge in incidents of humans trafficked from Nigeria among other countries.

Sexual exploitation, especially involving women from Nigeria and Eastern Europe, is the most prevalent and documented form of trafficking in Italy.

“Italy needs to rekindle its fight to end human trafficking, especially the unabated exploitation of the prostitution of foreign women and girls,” Ezeilo said following the end of her official visit to Italy.

The tour, during which she examined the situation of trafficked individuals and assessed the impact of anti-trafficking measures in the country, started on September 12 and ended on Friday.

“The phenomenon of trafficking in persons in Italy is unfortunately growing in scale and traffickers are getting more daring in exploitation and abuse of their victims,” the human rights expert said.

During her visit, she said she had met Nigerians that had been trafficked to the European country.

“I met and listened to sad tales of several victims of sex and labour," Ezeilo said.

Among these is  a 21-year-old Nigerian girl who travelled by plane from Nigeria transiting through Turkey, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia before arriving in Italy by train.

Not only was she trafficked but was held in debt bondage as her father back in Edo Sate had put up his land as collateral for the payment of the 60 000 euros fee illegal contract to bring her to Europe.

According to her,  the young woman was moved from Turin to Milan and Paris to sell her body in order to repay her debt.

She was rescued following a random identification check in Italy where she now benefits from assistance.

"The traffickers have continued to threaten her family back in Nigeria since her disappearance from their radar," Ezeilo said.

Ezeilo will present her findings and recommendations in a comprehensive report to the UN Human Rights Council in 2014.

- CAJ News


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