Strategies for Smart Pimps

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[Italy, Sicily, September 2016] Young, exhausted and vulnerable, many victims report being told prostitution is the only way to repay hefty debts ranging from 25,000 to 100,000 euros ($28,000-$112,000) to their traffickers, Italian charities say. Fear plays a large part in the juju rituals, with pubic hair, fingernails and blood collected from the victim as she is made to swear never to report her situation to the authorities, rights groups say. In some cases, fearing the juju “spell” may be turned on them and they may die, Nigerian parents insist their daughters obey their traffickers, testimony from Italian court documents shows…With numbers of Nigerians rising in Sicily, prostitution is a thriving business, campaigners say – though nobody knows exactly how many women end up plying their trade on the streets…

The new arrivals are also stretching the workload of the International Organization for Migration [IOM}, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and local charities, aid workers say. “It is reaching a stage where it is out of control,” said Margherita Limoni, a legal advisor with the IOM in Catania.  The number of Nigerian women arriving in Italy has almost doubled in the past year, surpassing 6,300 in the first eight months of 2016, up from 3,400 for the same period last year, according to the IOM.

Excerpts Rise in Nigerian sex slavery in Italy fuelled by violence and juju magic, Reuters, Sept. 29, 2016

 

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