How African migrant children are sexually exploited for safe passage from Italy to France
Save the Children
London, July 29, 2018 (AltAfrica)-A new report by Save the Children has revealed the horror and level of abuse migrant children from Africa go through to secure passage from Italy to France. The report tillted “Little invisible slaves 2018” alleged that these children are forced into giving sex in exchange for favour when unable to raise cash payment
Such a passage costs about $60 to $175 and since the children could not access such money, they are forced into sex trade. They are also forced to perform sex acts to get food and shelter in cases that have been going on since the beginning of the year.
The report added that about 1,900 girls had been sexually exploited across Italy between January 2017 and March 2018.
“These are very young, and particularly at-risk girls, who are among the invisible flow of unaccompanied migrant minors in transit at the northern Italian border who, in an attempt to reunite with their relatives or acquaintances in other European countries, are deprived of the opportunity to travel safely and legally,” Raffaela Milano, the director of Italy-Europe programmes at Save the Children, said in the report.
The report further indicated that eight out of ten Nigerian girls who arrived in Italy by sea are potential victims of sexual exploitation.
“Induced by their exploiters to declare themselves adults at the time of identification operations following the landing, many young Nigerians thus escape the system of protection for minors,” the report said.
The organisation has called for the protection of these children to save them from any form of exploitation.
“At the same time, it is necessary to strengthen the anti-trafficking network at the European and international level to target criminal networks that speculate on the suffering of minors and to strengthen law enforcement measures in a widespread way throughout the territory, both for sexual exploitation and for sexual exploitation. work “, continued Milano.
Statement from Save Children on the report
A few days before the International Day against Trafficking in Human Beings we launch the report ” Little invisible slaves 2018 “, an up-to-date photograph of the trafficking and exploitation of minors in Italy and in the world .
The report shows that almost 10 million children and adolescentsin the world, only in 2016 were forced into slavery , sold and exploited mainly for sexual and labor purposes.
The report offers a snapshot of the data concerning Italy, a country that is not a stranger to the phenomenon of trafficking and exploitation . Three, in particular, the phenomena highlighted by the relationship: the exploitation by road of the Nigerian and Romanian girls , the exposure to the sexual exploitation of migrant minors who pass through the Italian North Frontier with the aim of reaching the countries of northern Europe , and labor exploitation.
Regarding the contrast to the sexual exploitation of minors, our project “Way out” , between January 2017 and March 2018 reached 1,904 trafficking victims, 68% of the Nigerian women, followed by Rumanians by road units. (28%), a number that has clearly increased compared to the period May 2016-March 2017, when 1,313 victims were contacted.
Induced by their exploiters to declare themselves adults at the time of identification operations following the landing, many young Nigerians thus escape the system of protection for minors . It is therefore necessary to strengthen the identification mechanisms and the age assessment procedures so as to insert the minors in the protection programs immediately.
For the trip from Nigeria to Italy, the girls contract a debt of between 20,000 and 50,000 euros , which can only repay undergoing forced prostitution, a mechanism from which they can not get free easily.
After the Nigerian girls in Italy, the Romanian girls constitute the second largest group in forced prostitution on the street. These are mainly teenagers from the most disadvantaged areas of Romania.
The report shows a second sad phenomenon that affects our country: the so-called survival sex , or the minors in transit coming mostly from the Horn of Africa and the countries of Africa-sub-Saharan who are induced to prostitute themselves to pay the passeurs to cross the border or to get food or a place to sleep.
Deprived of the possibility to travel safe and legal routes that are invisible to the reception system, these single girls are exposed to very serious risks of abuse and exploitation.
Finally, according to the report, the emerged cases of child labor in Italy in 2017, involving both Italian and foreign minors , amount to 220 but we are faced with the tip of an iceberg of a phenomenon mostly submerged.
Among the foreign minors victims of labor exploitation in Italy, the Egyptian boys stand out and enter the spiral of exploitation to repay the debt incurred for the trip and support the families. Used in very heavy conditions , they work 7 days a week for 12 hours a day for 2 or 3 euro an hour.
With the aim of offering support and protection to unaccompanied foreign minors in Italy , and guaranteeing them opportunities for social inclusion , we are present with our programs in the main areas of disembarkation at the southern border and in major transit cities such as Rome, Milan, Turin and Catania with the CivicoZero project .
In order to offer specific support to foreign minors recruited by criminal organizations and networks in their countries of origin to be exploited in Italy in the sexual exploitation circuit, we have activated the Vie Vie exit project since 2012 , thanks to which, in 2017, 29 girlsemerged from the trafficking has been protected and accompanied by autonomy through personalized training and job start-ups.
Since 2016, we have also activated the Migrants Minor Helpline to provide adequate support to unaccompanied foreign minors themselves , but also to all those who need to receive ad hoc information. The free and multilingual service is available from Monday to Friday, from 10 to 17, toll-free 800 14 10 16 or, for Lycamobile users , 3512202016