Home Office, a UK ministerial department responsible for immigration, says trafficked women from Nigeria who get wealthy from prostitution are held in high esteem upon their return to the country.
In the June edition of its country policy on the trafficking of women in Nigeria, it said: “Nigeria is a source, transit and destination country for the trafficking of women and girls for forced labour and sexual exploitation”.
“However trafficked women who return from Europe, wealthy from prostitution, enjoy high social-economic status and in general are not subject to negative social attitudes on return. They are often held in high regard because they have improved income prospects.”
The statement irked members of parliament and anti-trafficking/anti-slavery activists in the UK who berated the department, asking it to tender an apology.
But Charlotte Proudman, a human rights lawyer, said Home Office’s report is different from what she has seen while defending women in immigration courts. According to her, most of the women are destitute and are often rejected by their family, while asking Home Office to issue an apology:
“The Home Office’s deplorable policy on the trafficking of women in Nigeria shows the hostility that women victims face in claiming asylum in the UK. Suggesting that trafficked women are wealthy and enjoy a [high] socioeconomic status is fundamentally wrong,”