The Nigerian Connection
Every year tens of thousands of West Africans migrate to Europe in search of a better life. But for some of them that search will end in tragedy, as they fall victim to competing mafia gangs that prey on the hopes of the desperate. In southern Italy, it is Nigerian women who are among the most exploited, with many ending up trapped in the nightmare world of the sex trade.
In the first of two special reports, Juliana Ruhfus investigates the plight of African women caught up in a web of organised crime, prostitution and people trafficking. In the following account Chiara Caprio, an Italian journalist who was involved in the making of the film, describes what they found out in southern Italy.
In the second part Juliana follows the trail from Italy back to Benin City in Nigeria, from where women, desperately seeking an escape from grinding poverty, are trafficked to Europe.
To pay for their travel, many of them incur massive debts to organised crime gangs in the false belief that a lucrative regular job awaits them at the other end. Often they are forced to undergo a Juju oath-swearing ritual that commits them to repaying the money on pain of death or insanity.
Watch the full documentary now (playlist – 50 minutes)