Investigate the Degrading Sex Slavery Nigerian Women are Subjected to; Reps
The House of Representatives has called for the investigation of the degrading sex slavery Nigerian women are subjected to outside the country. This followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Representative Rimamnde Shawulu Kwewum from Taraba State and eight others at plenary on Wednesday.
In his lead debate Rep Shawulu noted with concern that presently, there are several tens of thousands of Nigerian women who have been turned into sex slaves around the world adding that reports in the media show that Nigerian women and even underage girls, have been turned into sex slaves in European and several Middle East countries. He further Pointed out with that even the neighbouring West African states which depend on Nigeria for their wellbeing and security have become notorious in maltreating Nigerian women, keeping them as sex slaves and providing safe haven for perpetrators of human trafficking.
According to him the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has conducted several investigations and discovered that
” between 20,000-30,000 Nigerian girls are sex slaves with fifty additional girls being added to the list every day’.
The lawmaker further explained that due to increased efforts of the Security Agencies, traffickers no longer accompany their victims to Mali but now “waybill” the girls through Cotonou.
He said many of the victims were deceived by friends and relatives to leave Nigeria for greener pastures, mostly domestic work, hair dressing or sales in ‘Mali-sia’ only to discover later that they are being used for sex trade.
“Nigerian girls are trafficked mainly to the mining areas in the South and Central part of Mali, but a substantial number are trafficked to rebel held areas in the North of Mali, where they stand the risk of being radicalized; some of the victims were taken away from Nigeria, some in school uniforms and are being treated like slaves and less than second class citizens by Malians and their law enforcement agencies collect taxes from the Nigerian women on a weekly basis and force them to use condoms.
Nigerian women are forced by their ‘Madams’ to sleep with numerous men, without using any protection, hence the high incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and other ailments”.
The lawmaker also noted that the border point between Nigeria and Benin Republic at Seme-Krake has remained notoriously porous, in spite of numerous reports and pictures of notorious trafficking sent to Nigerian security agencies at the border, as no action has been taken to curb the practice.
Rep. Shawulu expressed worry that the continuation of this activity dents the image of the country and provides room for other West African countries to disrespect, not just Nigerian women, but all Nigerians.
He equally added that several of the girls tricked into travelling out of the country have been brutally penalized for insisting that they would not prostitute noting that in 2020 alone, fifteen young Nigerian women were killed in Mali to instil fear in the other women who may have had the intention of escaping. Quoting Section 14(2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which states that the government has the responsibility to provide for the security and welfare of Nigerians the lawmaker stressed the need for an urgent Intervention to stem the ugly trend.
Adopting all the prayers to the motion the house resolved to
Urge personnel of the Nigerian Immigration Service at the ports and borders of Nigeria to permit trained NAPTIP officials to operate, to spot, identify and prevent the illicit emigration of potential victims and in the long term, given the low budget of NAPTIP, to make it mandatory for all border officials of all security agencies to be trained by NAPTIP . Secondly to
also urge the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to begin to shame the traffickers in their homes, including the widespread publication of the names and pictures of convicted traffickers. The house also mandated the Committee on Human Rights to conduct investigation into all aspects of sex slavery and recommend appropriate budgeting and legislative, measures including sanctions and cooperation with fellow African countries to stem the tide.
26th February, 2020