Edo State in southern Nigeria has been described as the centre of human trafficking in Nigeria. Data from IOM (International Organization for Migration)shows that about 1.500 Nigerian women arrived in Italy by sea in 2014. Already in 2015 this number had risen to 5.633 Nigerian women whereoff most are from Edo State. Around 80% of illegal Nigerian prostitutes in Europe is estimated to be from Edo State.
The project is based on the assumption that power and unemployment has impeded the reduction of human trafficking in Edo State. In order to tackle and minimize human trafficking it is necessary to fight corruption, issue and enforce more stricter laws and involve traditional leaders and members of the public, NGOs and other organisations interested in minimizing human trafficking in Edo State.
In order to reach this goal it is relevant to change the perception of human trafficking by raising awareness and behavioral change by giving vulnerable people an alternative to, for instance, prostitution in Europe. This is what this project seeks to do by collaborating with important agents, including NAPTIP (National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons), traditional and religious leaders as well as private businesses.
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The project focuses on information and prevention and is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Denmark. The project was initiated in 2017 and aimed to produce the contraceptive movie DESPERATE JOURNEYS, to train volunteers to work in the 18 local villages, to offer 500 vulnerable Nigerian women help to start up a “small business” and to offer education to 100 Nigerian teenagers.
In 2018 the project moved into the second phase and the area of contact became 20.000 Nigerians in Edo State.
The project is in the process of preparing for the third phase (2021-2023) which includes the following goals:
- To produce documentaries about the people who were being trafficked from Edo State and returned
- Provide trauma counselling and train 1.000 returned in start-up of “small business”
- Raise awareness among 500.000 citizens through the movie DESPERATE JOURNEYS with the focus of prevention
- Offer help for start-up of “small business” for 1.000 vulnerable women
- Train employees in the villages in 18 local districts in Edo State with the focus of facilitating preventive campaigns