As a high school student living in Abuja, Nigeria, I came across young girls who stood on dimly lit streets at night. I and my elder brother lived a few meters from the town’s hub where a local brothel was also located.
I sometimes ran errands at night where I came face to face the young girls. Many of them looked quite young like myself and wore skimpy clothes, exposing a greater part of their bodies
I noticed that beyond the skimpy dresses and heavily made up faces lay a certain kind of sadness and perhaps a sense of loss, especially when they were alone waiting for clients.
I had no idea if the girls were there on their own accord or if they were trafficked . I had no opportunity to speak with any of them.
However, the fact that some of them appeared unhappy despite the gorgeous and sophisticated appearances left a lasting impression on me.
While in Finland, I have met young women who were victims of human trafficking.
Listening to their stories sends chill down my spine.
There are many reasons young girls fall victim to traffickers.
Poverty is a major reason. Many of the victims come from very poor families. Poverty in Nigeria is mainly caused by corruption and unemployment. Few people in authority divert the resources meant for the masses for their private us, thereby causing untold hardship to the people. There are many families who cannot afford a three square meal a day. Young girls with this background often fall easily to the deception of the traffickers because they want a better life.
Illiteracy and Ignorance: Young girls fall victim to traffickers because they are ignorant of the real situation which awaits them in Europe. The traffickers paint a very beautiful picture of decent jobs or education which entice the girls.
I think it’ll be unfair to blame the victims for their ordeal at the hands of the traffickers. Instead, efforts should be made to rehabilitate them. Many of them have been tortured and assaulted in different terrible ways.
Efforts should be made to educate young girls on the reality outside the country, etc. And governments should endeavor to improve the living standard of the masses, and alleviate poverty.
Also, the countries where the victims have escaped to, example, Finland, ought to show compassion and protect them, rather than send them back to the streets.
Given the opportunity, these young women want to live a decent life, at least for the sake of their children. They also have dreams and aspirations like every other person.