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Britton Wheeless
English 3 Research Paper
7 December, 2015

Human Sex Trafficking


Western Africa is one of the worst bases for Sex trafficking in the world. Sex
trafficking is when a commercial sex act is introduced by force or when the person
introduced to perform the act is under 18 years old. Most trafficking routes are designed
so they stop in this region because of the numbers of people they produce. According to
the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international
borders every year, of which 80% are female and 50% are children. Within the last
several years, 11.4 million females have been trafficked into forced labor as opposed 9.5
million men. Girls get taken as young as 12 years old and are thrown into the sex trade.
Women in Western Africa have to worry about this problem every day, knowing they
might not ever see their families again. Women endure physical and mental abuse while
getting trafficked which causes long term effects on them. These effects include health
problems, STDs, mental illnesses, PTSD, as well as scares that dont fade.
The most trafficked areas in West Africa are Libya, Nigeria, Liberia, Niger, Mali,
and Algeria. Since the abolishment of slavery, African citizens have been enslaving their
own people. Most of which are women and children and forcing them into labor unions.
Every year men, women, and children die crossing the Mediterranean Sea trying to reach

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Europe for a better life. Men tell these women they are able to provide them a better
life in another country as long as they can work to pay them back. Once these women
land in what they think is their new lovely life, they are taken and brought to sex slave
corporations and are given a task. Most women are assigned a corner or a street and they
sell their bodies for money so they can pay back the man that promised them an amazing
life.
Women are beaten, starved and raped while they are having forced to have sex.
These young ladies cant break free from their new awful reality until they are released
by their owner. A woman who is left nameless wanted a better life in Italy so she could
provide for her family. A man told her, We want to change your life. We just want you to
be happy. She became an Italian prostitute after the man refused to feed her and provide
cell phone use. This woman was put through a tremendous amount of torture as well as
an awful living environment. In order for people to be capable of enslaving and abusing
other human beings, they would have to be very mentally sick. Some people dont have
moral ability to understand how much harm they are capable of doing to others.
Two friends, Anna and Precious, also faced a horrendous reality when they were
trafficked from Nigeria to Okah in seek of a new life. They were under the influence of
getting a better life by being able to make money and be able to study. The young ladies
were unpleasantly surprised when they were put into traumatic conditions. Anna and
Precious were forced to have sex with men every night for 2 years, charging customers
$2.00. These women were told they had to pay $2,600 for travel expenses so; they had

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to sell their bodies in order to become out of debt. The United Nations Police were soon
contacted about young women being trafficked in the area. "I could not imagine how one
human being could exploit another as we were; we were used as a money machine."
Precious expressed to an officer after she and Anna escaped from the traffickers and
found safety. The traffickers were luckily arrested and fined with $2,000. Young women
are fragile and putting them in awful situations like being tortured, starved to death, and
mental abuse puts them in a negative standpoint.
Training police and prosecutors to build criminal cases and providing greater
support for victims are crucial to tackle low conviction rates for trafficking across the
region. said the UNODC's West and Central Africa representative Pierre Lapaque. Most
people dont realize that this is still a huge problem in Africa and Europe. The Irin News
states that, activists estimate that 60% of prostitutes walking the streets of Italy are from
Nigeria. Spain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands also have significant populations of
prostitutes from West Africa. Human traffickers are operating a criminal ring specialized
in taking women to Europe. Some are taken into the organ trade rings while others are
taken into the sex trade.
Housing, schooling, and other resources need to be made for women and children
in poor-living societies so they can be brought on a better path. The protection policies
also need to be strengthened in order for citizens to truly be safe. People can do this by
organizing a Protection Program for the people of lower class communities. This also
corresponds with Feminism and how women are treated less than men. Women are

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handled as merchandise/property or a simple service to men while getting paid for


exploitation. There is a hotline that is available in more than 200 languages if you or a
loved one are in trouble or would like more information. You can call 1(800)373-7888 or
you can text Help or Info at 233733.

Work Cited

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Guardian News and Media West Africa: Human Trafficking in


Ecowas
17 Aug. 2015
GUILBERT, KIERAN West Africa: Better Laws, Data Needed to Combat Human
Trafficking in West Africa 16 Oct. 2015
Guilbert, Kieran and Russell, Ros Better laws, data needed to
combat human trafficking in West Africa 26 Oct. 2015
IRIN NEWS WEST AFRICA: Traffickers hold thousands of children,
women in bondage 2015
Jiang, Yuxin JURIST - Academic Commentary 23 March 2015
UNODC Tackling human trafficking in West Africa 28 Jan. 2015