20,000 Nigerian Women And Girls Sold As Sex Slaves After Being Promised Jobs In Malaysia

They are said to be "held in horrible, slave-like conditions."

An estimated 20,000 women and girls were trafficked as sex slaves after being tricked into thinking they were being taken to Malaysia for jobs in the hospitality industry

This was revealed by the Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) Julie Okah-Donli, on Tuesday, 22 January.

She said a fact-finding team from NAPTIP and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) uncovered the extent of the trafficking during a visit to southern Mali in December, according to a report by Reuters.

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Image via Nigeria World News

The women and girls were abducted by human traffickers from Nigeria and sent to Mali, where they were stranded and forced into prostitution

Locals revealed to the operatives that there were more than 200 sites scattered across southern Mali, with 100 to 150 women and girls kept in each site.

Aged between 16 to 30 years old, the women and girls are said to be "held in horrible, slave-like conditions."

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Image via Independent

"They can't escape because they are kept in remote locations, like deep in forests," said Okah-Donli.

NAPTIP and IOM worked to repatriate 41 victims from Mali in December, and are in the process of bringing others home.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Linda Ikejis

Thousands of women and girls are taken out of Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, each year

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Image via Vozafric

While most of them arrive in Europe, others are transported to other parts of west Africa, Reuters reported.

With 9.2 million living in chains in Africa, women and girls make up 71% of the victims, according to The Global Slavery Index.

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