Nigerians Majority of Human Trafficking Victims in TRNC

North Cyprus News - Human Trafficking

Thursday, 4 August, 2022

Around 70 percent of human trafficking cases in North Cyprus involve Nigerians who come to the TRNC as students, Nigerian online newspaper The Sun reports.

The Nigerian National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Turkish-based human rights group Human Rights Platform, both have raised concerns about new human trafficking gangs operating between Nigeria and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Spokesperson for NAPTIP, Stella Nezan stated that young Nigerians are offered the promise of university education with low fees and the opportunity to work in North Cyprus. She said that once they arrive on the island, they are locked up in private accommodation and forced into prostitution.

The TRNC has problems in maintaining the minimum standards in human rights, she said, because of a lack of resources, ability and communication with the international community. 

The TRNC economy relies mainly on tourism and education for its income. Currently, there are 22 universities operating in the country.

The lure of university education and employment creates considerable risks of being a victim of human trafficking, she stated.

Meanwhile, the TRNC itself is struggling with inflation and poor employment opportunities.

Ms. Nezan warned students from Nigeria not to expect to get jobs there and to ensure that they had enough money to cover their university and living expenses in North Cyprus.

*Nigeria is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons including forced labour and forced prostitution. The U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons placed the country in “Tier 2 Watchlist” in 2022. Trafficked people, particularly women and children, are recruited from within and outside the country’s borders – for involuntary domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, street hawking. Wiki.

The TRNC was rated as Tier 3 [Ed.]

The Sun (Nigeria)

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