Monday, March 14, 2011

Human Trafficking, The African Angle

By Ifeanyi Onwumere

Human trafficking is the modern day slavery. I’m sure we’ve all heard it before, but until we find a way to purge it from among us, it bears repeating. Just as slavery proved an extremely cruel, yet profitable business venture in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, modern-day slavery (human trafficking) provides enormous profits with little risk to the trafficker. Today, for every 20,000 persons trafficked, only 1 trafficker is imprisoned. It’s no wonder that this form of human brutality has defied all governmental efforts to eradicate it.

Impoverished or distressed victims place their faith in those who promise a better life somewhere far away. By the time reality reveals the lies contained within the promise, it’s too late. Someone owns them and they are the property of masters, who treat them worse than animals by caging them, tying them up, burning them for infractions, and imprisoning them within the confines of the pimp's twisted world.

There are many facets to human trafficking. In this writing, I speak of human sex trafficking--the most lucrative business when compared to other forms of modern slavery.

Wikipedia defines Sex trafficking as: “The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act in which a commercial sex act is induced by force….”

In parts of Nigeria, Togo, Cameroon, Liberia, many third world countries, and in Eastern Europe and Asia, it’s often the parents, who for a small profit, lead their daughters into this unethical venture.

Poverty and ignorance on the part of parents who can’t afford food for a family and the lack the financial capacity to train their daughters in school, tempt parents to hand their children over to men and women in this business hoping to receive financial returns in the future. The patrons or madams as they are called promise to take the girls to Western Europe where “a job is waiting for them.”  Upon reaching Europe, especially Western Europe, these girls will find that there is no job. Their madam or patron forces them to into prostitution by demanding the girl repay the money spent on her travels. At times, the parents are threatened with death unless their child pays the full amount, which in most cases, is triple the amount the trafficker spent.

The most painful aspect of the whole profession remains that these pimps strip away a girl’s freedom by placing her under constant surveillance. Many girls have no access to a telephone, or if they do, calls are carefully monitored to ensure they speak only with clients. In most cases, a telephone does them little good as they are somewhere strange and don’t know the language.

Some girls never make it as far as Europe. Like the slave trade in years past, they die en-route under perilous conditions.

To buttress my point, follow this link to an article that appeared in Sahara, an online news outlet based in the United State of America but edited by a Nigerian.

Conclusion: “ Charity they say begins a’ home”. Parents, I must say, must share the blame of these ugly and horrible trends. They should know to whom they hand over their child. Poverty is not an excuse to encourage a child into prostitution. Of course, some of these parents know that their daughters are going into prostitution and encourage them. But what they often fail to comprehend is the hazardous nature of the business and its after effect and life long trauma. All national governments in collaboration with international agencies as well as the immigration officials must place all hands on deck to eradicate this ugly monster that has reared its head into African society. Stiff penalties which are not easily recovered from must be melted out to those directly or indirectly involved and serve as a deterrent to participants in this modern sex slave industry.

Trading in humans is not acceptable, no matter how impoverished the nation, people group or family. Only when education and spiritual/family ties override greed and poverty will we see a decrease in human trafficking and sexual slavery.


Ioana Udroiu ( until recently... Niang ) said...

I wish i could find words to leave a comment but i have only tears in my eyes.
Thanks God for people like you and Iana.

Be blessed and encouraged and keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Thank you brother Ifeanyi for your wisdom on this subject of Nigeria Prostitutions abroad and it shows your positive contribution. This is a very controversial subject, and anyone may defend his or her idea on this subject. I do not encourage prostitution and if any girl find herself in this racket it is her own fault, I am a religious man and I only have religious idea on this area. I live in Italy, the highest prostitution in Italy are Nigerians. And I have seen Nigerian girls who were brought from Benin to prostitution in Europe, some of these girls refuse to do it and they were not shaken by the threat of these pimps. These pimps gave up and let these girls live there lives in peace. Those girls coming from Nigeria to abroad they know what they are coming to do, it is prostitution. Those stories written in news papers about Nigeria girls those are nonsense. The highest liars on earth are these Nigerian girls. Do not believe all these girls, they try to cover up to say we do not know. What is happening on the way through Mali desert is this, those girls coming from Benin they normally comes with men who handles them, but if these men bringing them to Europe does not settle the bad boys on the way, they lose the girls. To cut the story short, in the judgment day, those girls will be held responsible for their actions and will face the punishment. If someone asks you to do prostitution and in out of fear you do it, it becomes two sins, and fear and prostitution. Fear itself is a sin.

unstoppableredeemer said...

Mr. Anonymus,
You know a great deal about these girls, and that's why, I think you are at least, one of their clients. It fits your religious profile, because it makes you feel guilty, and that's the reason you judge them. I have good news for you: God, in whose name you speak, can forgive even you, and I sugest you meditate on this truth, because IF you make it to heaven, you'll meet a lot of the girls you judged, by the right hand of the Father.

Anonymous said...

Good article, Festus. May the "Unstoppable redeemer" help us be a rescue tool for many of these girls that end up being trapped in human-trafficking. Cristi

Anonymous said...

unstoppableredeemer, if you say what you do not know and testify what you have not seen then you become a liar.

unstoppableredeemer said...

Anonymus, I sugest you go before God with all these issues that you have as Judge of the world. Only He can help you since you decided that you're equal, and the rest of us fall short..

Anonymous said...

Prostitution carries death sentence in the last day for any that refuse to leave it, period. To be on the safe side, do not do it, and if anyone asks you to prostitute either by force or in anyway still do not do it. Poverty is not an excuse to prostitutes in any judgment either by of the world or of God. I live in Italy, the highest prostitutes and pimps they live here and we know the truth about this, if a pimp ask you to prostitutes either by force or by any means, those girls that says this is a sin against God I will not do it, the pimps leave them in peace, but where there will be trouble is: if a girl tells a trolley boy or madam (these pimps) that it is a sin to prostitutes and he or she latter found that girl standing on the road for prostitutions then she has invited trouble in her life this is the area where the madam or the trolley boys will use force and even death threat. The wages of sin is death. Unstoppableredeemer, I love you. You get to know me, I am full of love and life. Do judge me by blog.

Anonymous said...

This is a very good article. More grease to your elbow. But this must be backed up by serious effort at stopping the menace that has eaten deep into the fabric of our society.

Mirela said...

dreadful... if there were God in every each of us we would no longer harm or exploit the ones next to us or either look for such sexual services like these, 'cause I see it as a main cause which inherently generates the slavery effect as a profitable business. just think of it in terms of offer and demand, whilst there is no demand for paid sexual services there would be no need in offering sexual services and no pimps to traffic girls... the circle goes on...

I would place a blame on every man or even women who feel in power paying for sex not considering the reasoning or the circumstances of what he gets in exchange of his money. Shame on them for being weak! May God fill out this world with love so that we would no longer harm or exploit the ones next to us or either look for such sexual services like these... and therefore love and respect those trafficked lambs.