Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Photo: Two Nigerian sex slaves rescued in Burkina Faso


Two teenage Nigerian girls, Rejoice Chioma
Israel, 16, (centre) and Rosemary Uchenna
Emmanuel, 19 (right), who were trafficked to
Burkina Faso to become sex workers in the
country have been rescued, PM News reports.
The two girls left Nigeria on 11 July with a
man who promised to take them to
Malaysia via Burkina Faso for a better life.
The trafficker explained to them that they
will be given fresh passports and some
vaccines in Burkina Faso before proceeding
to Malaysia for well paid jobs.
But once in Ouagadugu, the capital of
Burkina Faso, they were handed over to a
Nigerian woman called Onome who
introduced them to prostitution.
“The madam told us we will have to do ashawo
(prostitution) or pay her N1.2 million each to
take us back to Nigeria,” Rosemary said in an
interview in Lagos on Tuesday.
They refused and explained they were on their
way to Malaysia and were just making a brief
stop in Burkina Faso for new passports and
vaccines.
“She invited bad boys to take us away to a
village on motorcycles,” Rosemary said.
It was at that time they were rescued by some
people who called an anti-human trafficking NGO
founded by a Nigerian and known in French as
Association Nationale de Lutte Contre le Traffic
des Jeunes or the National Association Against
Trafficking of Young Persons (Lutra – Jeunes).
During the rescue operation, Rosemary said, she
was pushed off the bike and sustained injury in
her right hand and right leg.
Before embarking on the journey, Rosemary and
Rejoice worked at a small restaurant in Port
Harcourt away from their families in Imo and
Abia States.
They lived together and worked at the same
restaurant where they earned about N3,000 a
month.
They were there for some months until one day,
a man visited the restaurant and told them
about the well paid new jobs in Malaysia.
They contributed only N5,000 each and were
handed over to the man’s brother who took
them on the journey. The journey from Port
Harcourt to Burkina Faso lasted about two days.
They were then handed over to the Nigerian
woman there who manages at least 30 other
Nigerian girls with some as young as 14 years
old.
“They were deceived and trafficked from Nigeria
with the hope to secure manual work in Malaysia
to better their future,” said Ochuko Patrick Otoba
(pictured left), a Nigerian and President of Lutra-
Jeunes, the NGO that rescued them and brought
them back to Nigeria on Monday after two days
on the road.
“But they were surprised to find themselves in
Burkina Faso, forced to take up prostitution as
they new trade. When they refused, they were
maltreated and beaten up with injury of
irreparable degree,” he said.
Otoba, a human rights activist, said the number
of Nigerian girls who have become victims of
human trafficking across the borders of West
African countries, especially Nigeria, Benin, Togo
and Burkina Faso is on the rise.
“Enslaved, indebted, sold like donkeys, the young
victims are between the ages of 14 to 22 and
they are deceived by traffickers in Nigeria who
are also Nigerians,” he said.
He called on the Nigerian government to embark
on serious awareness campaign, rescue other
victims in Burkina Faso, build rehabilitation
centres to house these victims and begin
empowerment projects for rescued victims who
are not educated but need skills to get back into
the society.
His own NGO, he said, has not received funding
from the government, and had been struggling to
cope.
Source: PM News

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