Tricked and Trafficked

In Benin’s commercial capital Cotonou, scores of young Nigerian girls wait to be sent to their new husbands, their families paid small dowries in exchange for their daughters.

“But nobody knows the real intentions of the men who ‘commissioned’ these girls. Or if they exist,” Issa Sikiti da Silva writes. At the hands of traffickers, many end up sex slaves and forced laborers.

But addressing the problem is not straightforward: There’s a fine line between trafficking and the cultural norm of sending girls to live with friends and family in cities, where some face grave abuse that are rarely reported to police.

Inter Press Service

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