Taking of trade victims seekers for asylum in Piedmont.
In recent years, Nigerian traffickers have used Libyan routes to bring thousands of women into Europe for exploitation, such as prostitution. Potential victims are often hidden in the mass of asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean.
Today, shelters for asylum seekers welcome a large number of young Nigerian women, and this trend seems to be increasing more and more.
From the talks that the anti-trade network operators and members of the Territorial Commissions for the recognition of international protection have done with many of these women, it is clear that they are victims of trafficking, forced into sexual exploitation, such as prostitution.
Based on almost twenty-years experience from working on this phenomenon, the elements that emerged within these talks all relate to the classic signs of the “Nigerian Trade”: a recruiter in Nigeria, a sponsor, juju, a trolley or connection man (courier), a madam in Europe and above all, a debt to be compensated.
The thoughtless rise of young Nigerians destined to the streets has alerted all the workers in the anti trafficking system, who in fact feel disarmed in front of such large numbers.
The IOM (International Organization for Migration) data reports the following concerning Nigerian women identified as probable trafficking victims arriving in Italy from Libya: in 2013: 433, in 2014: 1,500, in 2015: 5,000 and in 2016: 11,000.
Requirements for taking care of victims of trafficking in the Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (SPRAR).
(A) The inclusion in the Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (SPRAR) project for victims of trafficking it must be agreed with the woman which it is addressed, as well as Art. 18 projects, whose membership is voluntary.
B) Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (SPRAR) is considered to be a second welcome shelter for women who are identified as victims of trafficking in previous phases and in other facilities (Extraordinary Shelter Center CAS and Territorial Commissions) and are subsequently transferred to Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (SPRAR) projects.
C) Asylum Seekers and Refugees (SPRAR) projects are to be dedicated to the reception of asylum seekers who are victims of trafficking, and are required to guarantee the capabilities of the anti-trade network, which has been working on this subject for many years and has gained specific experience. A guarantee of the implementation of an effective reception model is essential for Protection Systems for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (SPRAR). They are to be dedicated to trafficking victims, and are to be run by institutions authorized to initiate social security and social inclusion programs (the organizations registered in the Second Section of the Registry of Associations and Entities that are active in favor of immigrants, Art.52 of the Single Text on Immigration) or associations and cooperatives who have entered into a cooperation agreement with the associations registered in the said Second Section of the Registry.
Requirements for taking care of victims of trafficking asylum seekers in the Extraordinary Shelters Center (CAS).
The Extraordinary Shelters Center (CAS) is to be dedicated to the reception of asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking. They are required to guarantee the typical capabilities of the anti-trade network, who has worked on this subject for many years, gaining specific experience.
To guarantee the implementation of an effective reception model, it is essential that the Extraordinary Shelters Center (CAS) is devoted to the management of trafficking victims, by entities authorized to start social security and social inclusion programs (organizations registered in the second section of the Register of Associations and Entities that they carry out activities in favor of immigrants, Article 42 of the Single text on immigration) or by other associations and cooperatives who have entered into a cooperation agreement with the associations registered in the mentioned Second Registry section.
The minimum requirements for Extraordinary Shelters Center (CAS) and for Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (SPRAR) applying to host victims of trafficking are as follows:
- Employing an experienced team, consisting of cultural mediators and not just on-call workers.
In the reception facilities, their presence is fundamental. Generally, African girls, especially Nigerians, do not hold much trust for Italian workers.
- Night surveillance, even with a peer educator.
An adequate control action plan needs to be in place to ensure that the women can not be traced or contacted by traffickers. This will avoid vulnerable women being forced into prostitution to pay off their debts.
- Counselling and sexual education must be amongst the mandatory activities. A big problem with young girls landing in Italy is that they have little knowledge concerning sexuality. Many of them become pregnant in the months following their arrival and have unfounded fears about contraception and abortion. Consequently, they are becoming young mothers, and thus the social inclusion path is much slower because of the care of pregnancy and maternity. Therefore, there is a need for offering the women training in sexual education. This is to be carried out in centers, by experienced practitioners who are aware of the African cultural codes.
- There should be the possibility for the extension of time in the reception center if the risk of exploitation still remains.
- There should be the possibility for the extension of time in the reception center in the circumstance that there are ongoing criminal proceedings in which the women are involved.
In this situation, appropriate reception times must be provided, so that adequate protection is guaranteed throughout the process.
- Voluntary prostitution undertaken by the women could result in the cessation of the reception.
Any woman portraying ambiguous behavior (such as voluntary prostitution, as well as an ambiguous characters, etc.) must foresee the closure of the reception and retirement program.
- Economic sanctions for the women accepted (detained pocket money) for inadequate behavior and failure to the observance of the rules of hospitality.
- Criminal law advice from qualified professionals who can support women in the event of a complaint against exploiters and / or criminal proceedings.
- The reception for female trafficking victims must be done in apartments and guest houses dedicated only to this purpose.