The Criminalization of Human Trafficked Female Victims from Africa

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 10:15
Oral Presentation
Chioma Daisy ONYIGE, University of Port Hartcourt, Port Harcourt , Rivers State, Nigeria
Human trafficking is modern day slavery. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), it is estimated that around 21 million people around the world are in slavery. Contrary to common misconceptions that slavery affects everyone, some groups of people are much more susceptible to slavery than others. People who suffer discrimination and prejudice due to their gender, ethnicity, race or caste are also likely to be subjugated to exploitation. Modern day slavery is likely to occur in countries where corruption is the norm and the rule of law is weak. There is no doubt that the root cause of modern day slavery is poverty and inequality of power, however globalisation has intensified the problem. The increase of migration from Africa to Europe has resulted in prostitution businesses breeding rapidly. Consequently, at the destination countries, women and children who are sexually exploited and abused as victims of human trafficking are often treated as criminals. Most international actors are more interested in stemming illegal immigration, and therefore consider trafficking cases as an illegal migration issues. The law and order approach to victims of trafficking from Africa is usually criminalized. They blame the victim and the victim’s gender and race. The combined effects of racism and gender discrimination on migrant women, especially black women have legitimised the criminalisation of trafficked victims. This paper contends that a comprehensive and integrated approach to understanding the various forms of discrimination that African migrant women face should be studied to ensure that the human right of female African migrant is not abused.