“I need help, right now I cannot walk properly,” trafficking victim Nkiru Obasi pleaded from her hospital bed in a video she posted online.
The young Nigerian woman had been injured in the Aug. 4 Beirut blast, which ripped through the Lebanese capital, killing 190 people injuring a further 6,500 and damaging 40 percent of the city. However, it’s not her injuries keeping her in Lebanon but a restrictive and abusive system of migrant laws.
What is human trafficking and child trafficking? IPS correspondent Tobore Ovuorie takes to the streets of Lagos to find out what Nigerians know about this crime. The answer was, surprisingly, very little. Ovuorie also speaks to experts about how to identify kids who have been trafficked and what ordinary citizens can do about it.
Experts say climate change is a key factor fuelling the insurgency of the armed group Boko Haram. The insurgency, which is aimed at creating an Islamic State in North East Nigeria, is responsible for one of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
“Human trafficking is when someone is taken from Nigeria to another country to be a prostitute. Or, to do other illegal jobs that are not good for humanity,” said Kingsley Chidiebere, a commercial motorcycle rider in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos.
Hope Oyiza, a Nigerian human trafficking survivor has said the Nigerian authority in charge of preventing the trafficking of persons, as well as punishing offenders, is lagging behind in her duties because many of the officials collect bribes from arrested human traffickers. Then, release them.
“They forcefully took us away and kept us like prisoners,” Lydia Musa, a former Boko Haram captive who was abducted at the age of 14 during an attack on her village in Gwoza, in Nigeria’s north eastern Borno State, tells IPS. Musa and two other underaged girls were captured and forced to marry Boko Haram fighters in spite of their protests that they were too young to marry.
Nigeria is mourning along with the rest of the world after the downing of Ethiopian Airlines Flight, which claimed all of the 157 lives onboard. The fatalities included people from 35 countries, 19 United Nations officials and two Nigerians, one of whom was regarded as Africa's leading academic and labelled a genius by many.
Nigeria accounts for some of the largest number of irregular migrants trying to reach Europe from Africa.
When Lawrence Afere told his parents he was going into farming rather than getting a job in Nigeria’s lucrative oil and gas sector, they swore he was bewitched.
“Don’t assume if you attempt the journey your fortune will change for the better,” a woman says over the public address system in the crowded Uselu market in Benin City, the capital of Nigeria’s Edo State. “Many embarked on the journey and never made it. Many people are dying in the Sahara Desert.”
The International Organization For Migration (IOM) has taken its campaign against irregular migration to schools in Nigeria. The school campaigns are meant to educate children who are among victims of human traffickers.
Thousands of migrants mainly from Sub-Saharan Africa have died or ended up in slavery as they attempt to travel to Europe irregularly through the desert and across the sea. Many were recruited by traffickers who deceived them into believing that the passage to Europe would be safe and easy.
The International Organization for Migration has taken its campaign against irregular migration to the airwaves in Nigeria. Working in conjunction with some Nigerian radio stations, the United Nations Migration Agency has launched a radio series on safe migration.
Hundreds of desperate young Nigerians die yearly in the Sahara Desert or at sea while making irregular journeys to Europe. The desperation to reach Europe at all cost, irrespective of the risks, is a major social problem in Africa’s most populous country.
Though still fearful for her life and the safety of her family, one of the girls who escaped abduction by Boko Haram in Nigeria has appealed to global leaders to intervene and help bring back 195 schoolgirls still being held by the terrorist network.
Years of violence and unrest in North-East Nigeria have left millions of people at risk of starving to death. Both the violent up surging of Boko Haram and the government’s harsh military crackdown have left already historically marginalised communities with next to nothing.
South Sudan Monday became the first country to declare famine since 2012, as UNICEF warned that 1.4 million children are at risk of dying from starvation with famine also imminent in Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen.
Children under five years of age are not surviving due to severe food shortages in some parts of the Lake Chad region, says Toby Lanzer, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel.
As food contaminants, aflatoxins are amongst the deadliest. Between 2004 and 2007, contaminated maize killed nearly 200 people in Kenya, left hundreds hospitalised and rendered millions of bags of maize unfit for consumption.
The Bring Back Our Girls Campaign has experienced some successes but must now overcome the challenge of hope fatigue, Bring Back Our Girls campaign co-founder Saudatu Mahdi told IPS in a recent interview.
Tears spring to Aichatou Njoya’s eyes as she recalls the day Islamic militants from Boko Haram arrived on her doorstep in Nigeria.