A chance encounter
On New Year’s day in Dubai, I was propositioned for sex by a 25-year Nigerian woman I will call Amy. After declining we chatted and I discovered that she had been trafficked from Nigeria in August 2019 on the promise of a lucrative sales job. Orphaned at 18yrs after her parents were both killed in a car crash, Amy looked after her younger brother, selling things she made in the local market to feed them. Not hard to see why she had jumped at the opportunity to improve their situation.
Amy was penniless, thin, tired and despondently resigned to her situation, dressed in a cheap clinging dress and pink slippers. Her captor, a Nigerian woman and her son, set her a goal of earning £10,000 after which she would be free to leave. It’s unlikely she would be able to.
We exchanged numbers and I photographed her documents and injuries whilst I considered what to do. In the meantime, Amy managed to get me addresses, telephone numbers and an image of her boss in order to build a case.
That evening as we boarded our flight home she video called me to show me the beating she had just sustained for poor earnings. Less visibly her bosses son had rubbed chilli powder into her vagina as punishment for not earning enough. Upon landing in London we hatched a plan for her escape and after a tense 4 days, she boarded a flight to Nigeria and was reunited with her Aunie in Lagos on the 7th January.
A young Nigerian woman trafficked to Dubai for sex
We have assisted a second girl, Bindy, to return to Nigeria and she is proactively assisting NAPTIP, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons in Benin City. As a result, as of march 2020 NAPTIP has three people in custody including the madame who was holding her in Dubai and administering the punishments to the girls.
We are still planning to return to Dubai to rescue and repatriate as many girls as we can find from the group and are in discussion with the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai to get permission to do this.