July 23, 2017

How Boko Haram victims end up as sex workers in Europe

How Boko Haram victims end up as sex workers in Europe

She had spent much of her day in the heart of town meeting with a woman who’s promising to take her to Italy and find her a job. The young girl, who said she was 17, hasn’t been told where she’ll be working once she arrives at her destination. Yet she isn’t bothered. All she wants is to get to Europe.

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Sarah is not naïve. She knows that many of the girls who are taken from Nigeria to Italy end up as sex workers. She even suspects that will be the job she’ll be asked to do once she arrives in Europe, given the way her would-be benefactor has been communicating with her. “She always tells me ‘you are a fine girl,’ whenever we are discussing,” she told The Daily Beast at the camp where she has been for about a year now. “She says it wouldn’t be difficult for a girl like me to find a job.”

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Living a life of abuse is what Sarah has faced since 2015, the year Boko Haram militants invaded her compound in Bama, about 50 miles southeast of this city, and dragged her from her home. She says she was taken to the terrorists’ hideout in the Sambisa Forest where a number of jihadists took turns raping her.

Weeks after her abduction, she escaped from her captors in the middle of the night when those guarding the camp had fallen asleep. She walked for long hours before reaching a settlement from which she was able to make her way to Maiduguri. Read more 

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