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How we were forced into prostitution in France, say Nigerians



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Several young ladies who were taken to France under the false pretence of securing jobs by a mostly female network of Nigerian human traffickers operating forced prostitution rings in France have lamented their horrible plights in the hands of their abductors.
Already 16 members of the network have been arrested and arraigned at the High Court of Paris, and a verdict is expected at the end of this month.
While testifying in Court, one of the ladies said they were trafficked from Nigeria, abused and forced into prostitution.
Like many of the girls, Rose was a virgin when she was forced into the sex trade and later experienced health issues. “When I told [my madame] that some clients were bad to me and I was afraid I had HIV, she responded to me that she didn’t care,” Adaro said.
“She said that I could die, but all she cared for was the money I was getting her.”
Of the 16 accused, 11 are women and five are men. Four are currently serving time in prison for previous offenses. The prosecution alleged that the accused operated their prostitution network across multiple countries including France, Italy and Spain.
The plaintiffs, some under 18, claim that before leaving Nigeria they were promised economic opportunities in France unrelated to sex work.
One plaintiff testified she was told she would be working in a new restaurant operated by one of the accused; another that she would work as a nanny.
Before leaving Nigeria the women were taken to voodoo priests, some of whom used body scarification in a ritual to “seal” the women’s contracts with their traffickers. Other women were told they were haunted by “bad spirits” and must pay their traffickers upwards of €70,000 for protection.
Plaintiffs testified that both the voodoo priests and their traffickers warned them not to tell anyone about the payments. They would face extreme punishment for talking to police, they said, and family members might be killed.
The plaintiffs testified that they were given fake passports and visas, which they would pay for from the money they earned in the future. They were brought to the home of their future madame and were kept there under strict restrictions, except when they were out seeking new clients.
During their time in court, the women detailed the physical and sexual abuse they suffered, both at the hands of their pimps and from their clients. Some said they were not allowed access to medical services or were forced to have abortions. Rose Adaro, who said she was just 17 when she arrived in France, was blindfolded and raped when she refused to participate in the sex work.
While eight women are testifying in the case, a total of 49 victims have come forward. The defendants are being tried for procuring and trafficking in human beings, crimes that carry a maximum sentence of 10 years.

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