Nigeria Imposes Rare Jail Sentence on Family of Human Traffickers

Three family members, two siblings and their mother, who forced a teenager into sex work in Russia, were given a rare prison sentence for human trafficking. Convicted traffickers are often fined but spared jail sentences by Nigerian courts. According to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, the siblings were jailed for 14 years, and their mother given a 10-year sentence. The victim was 19-years-old when she was approached by the traffickers in 2012. They arranged her travel documents and said she would work in a hair salon in Russia. Once there, the victim was told she owed them U.S.$45,000 and was forced into sex work to clear the debt, which took several years. On her return to Nigeria, her testimony helped police identify the perpetrators, the agency said. For decades, scores of Nigerian women and girls have been targeted by traffickers, sent to Europe with promises of work, then trapped into debt bondage and are forced into sex work.

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