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“End Trafficking International” (ETI) a New York-based organization that works to end human trafficking has just reported the rescue of a Nigerian citizen who was lured to Libya for exploitation.
The victim (Maria), a 40-year-old Nigerian female was promised a well-paid job in Libya but unknown to her she was on her way to slavery. She arrived in Zuwarah northwestern city in Libya on December 9, 2019, and was sold multiple times by her trafficker to pay her unending debt. The victim was subjected to all forms of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment from her trafficker to ensure compliance. As typical with traffickers, the victim’s international passport and other personal items including hair and nails were seized by her trafficker for voodoo purposes. End Trafficking International (ETI) with the help of Nigerian embassy staff, John Olowo ensured the safe return of the victim this week back to her 3 children. The victim was offered a safe space to stay and a free flight ticket.
Generally, in human trafficking, the victims are usually transferred to a location where their services are needed. This is often a place where they lack language skills or other basic knowledge that would allow them to seek help. For Maria, it was just supposed to be a job to make money from, but it quickly turned into a lot more than she ever expected. The horrendous story of Maria is a traditional and most commonly used medium of human trafficking, called the “BONDED LABOUR”
Bonded labor, also known as debt bondage occurs when a person takes a loan for security purposes or inherits a relative’s debt. It might look like an arrangement on jobs, but one where the employee starts paying debt– usually in brutal situations, only to find that their payment of the loan is impossible. They are then forever enslaved. Labour trafficking is targeted at manipulating employees. The process of cycling starts with a debt that cannot be paid immediately, whether acquired or inherited. The employer then proceeds to add new costs as the employee is working to pay off the debts.
The international Palermo Protocol requires the criminalization of bonded labor as a form of trafficking. Still, this particular system of slavery is deeply entrenched around the world. This is another cry-out call to individuals, private and governmental institutions to stand up and join the fight against Human Trafficking. Kudos to End Trafficking International (ETI). Today, Maria is back home with her family after several years of forced labour (bondage debt) in a foreign country.
According to the founder of the organization “End Trafficking International” Joy Agbeyegbe Ochuko, poverty has been a push factor of migration and human trafficking. The economic situation in most African countries has left its youths with no other option than to seek the next way out even if it means losing their lives. She (the founder) further encouraged those seeking greener pastures outside their countries to look before they leap.
The organization expressed her gratitude to the Nigerian embassy in Libya and its kind-hearted staff John Olowo for providing the victim with a safe place and an emergency travel document.
Disclaimer: The above story contains second-person accounts from a victim of human trafficking. The name of the victim has been altered to protect her Identity. End Trafficking International worked in collaboration with the Nigerian embassy and local authorities in Libya on this case.
Please also note; all Images used in this story are for illustration purposes.
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