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Two teenage Nigerian girls,
Rejoice Chioma Israel, 16,
(centre) and
Rosemary Uchenna
Emmanuel, 19 (right), who
were trafficked to Burkina
Faso to become s*x workers
in the country have been
rescued, PM News reports.

The two girls left Nigeria
on 11 July with a man who
promised to take them to
Malaysia via Burkina Faso
for a better life. The
trafficker explained to
them that they will be
given fresh passports and
some vaccines in Burkina
Faso before proceeding to
Malaysia for well paid jobs.
But once in Ouagadugu,
the capital of Burkina Faso,
they were handed over to
a Nigerian woman called
Onome who introduced
them to prostitution.
“The madam told us we will
have to do ashawo
(prostitution) or pay her
N1.2 million each to take us
back to Nigeria,” Rosemary
said in an interview in Lagos
on Tuesday.
They refused and explained
they were on their way to
Malaysia and were just
making a brief stop in
Burkina Faso for new
passports and vaccines.
“She invited bad boys to take
us away to a village on
motorcycles,” Rosemary said.
It was at that time they were
rescued by some people
who called an anti-human
trafficking NGO founded by a
Nigerian and known in
French as Association
Nationale de Lutte Contre le
Traffic des Jeunes or the
National Association Against
Trafficking of Young Persons
(Lutra – Jeunes).
During the rescue operation,
Rosemary said, she was
pushed off the bike and
sustained injury in her right
hand and right leg.
Before embarking on the
journey, Rosemary and
Rejoice worked at a small
restaurant in Port Harcourt
away from their families in
Imo and Abia States.
They lived together and
worked at the same
restaurant where they
earned about N3,000 a
month.
They were there for some
months until one day, a man
visited the restaurant and
told them about the well
paid new jobs in Malaysia.
They contributed only
N5,000 each and were
handed over to the man’s
brother who took them on
the journey. The journey
from Port Harcourt to
Burkina Faso lasted about
two days.
They were then handed over
to the Nigerian woman there
who manages at least 30
other Nigerian girls with
some as young as 14 years
old.
“They were deceived and
trafficked from Nigeria with
the hope to secure manual
work in Malaysia to better
their future,” said Ochuko
Patrick Otoba (pictured left),
a Nigerian and President of
Lutra-Jeunes, the NGO that
rescued them and brought
them back to Nigeria on
Monday after two days on
the road.
“But they were surprised to
find themselves in Burkina
Faso, forced to take up
prostitution as they new
trade. When they refused,
they were maltreated and
beaten up with injury of
irreparable degree,” he said.
Otoba, a human rights
activist, said the number of
Nigerian girls who have
become victims of human
trafficking across the
borders of West African
countries, especially Nigeria,
Benin, Togo and Burkina
Faso is on the rise.
“Enslaved, indebted, sold like
donkeys, the young victims
are between the ages of 14
to 22 and they are deceived
by traffickers in Nigeria who
are also Nigerians,” he said.
He called on the Nigerian
government to embark on
serious awareness
campaign, rescue other
victims in Burkina Faso, build
rehabilitation centres to
house these victims and
begin empowerment
projects for rescued victims
who are not educated but
need skills to get back into
the society.
His own NGO, he said, has
not received funding from
the government, and had
been struggling to cope.
Source: PM News

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