At least 80% of Nigerian women and girls arriving in Italy are sex trafficking victims, Vatican news agency Agenzia Fides reported Wednesday.
“Hundreds of thousands of people fall victim to human trafficking every year in Africa alone,” Monsignor Ignatius Ayau Kaigama told an international conference against human trafficking organized by Christian Organisations Against Trafficking in Human Beings (COATNET) and Catholic charity Caritas in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.
“Of the overall number of victims, 79% are sexually exploited and the majority are women,” said Kaigama, who is the archbishop of the central Nigerian city of Jos and president of the Nigerian Bishops Conference.
“The remaining 21% are coerced into forced labor, and the majority of these are men”. “In some parts of West Africa, the majority of trafficking victims are children under 18,” he went on. “This conference must find a way to put an end to child labor in all its forms,” the archbishop said.
He also called on the Nigerian government “to declare human trafficking a national disgrace, and to take urgent and long-lasting measures to address its root causes. This in light of recent reports that 80% of Nigerian girls that reach Italy, do so for reasons of sex trafficking”.