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Paper: violence, abuse and exploitation among trafficked women and girls: a mixed-methods study in Nigeria and Uganda

Kiss, Ligia; Fotheringhame, David; Kyegombe, Nambusi; McAlpine, Alys; Abilio, Ludmila; Kyamulabi, Agnes; Walakira, Eddy J; ... Tanton, Clare; + view all (2022) Paper: violence, abuse and exploitation among trafficked women and girls: a mixed-methods study in Nigeria and Uganda. BMC Public Health , 22 , Article 794. 10.1186/s12889-022-13021-2. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Africa is the global region where modern-slavery is most prevalent, especially among women and girls. Despite the severe health consequences of human trafficking, evidence on the risks and experiences of trafficked adolescents and young women is scarce for the region. This paper addresses this gap by exploring the intersections between violence, migration and exploitation among girls and young women identified as trafficking survivors in Nigeria and Uganda. METHODS: We conducted secondary analysis of the largest routine dataset on human trafficking survivors. We used descriptive statistics to report the experiences of female survivors younger than 25 years-old from Nigeria and Uganda. We also conducted 16 semi-structured interviews with adolescents identified as trafficked in both countries. We used thematic analysis to explore participants’ perceptions and experiences before, during and after the trafficking situation. RESULTS: Young female survivors of human trafficking in Nigeria and Uganda are exposed to a range of experiences of violence before migration, during transit and at destination. The qualitative data revealed that children and adolescents migrated to escape family poverty, violence and neglect. They had very low levels of education and most had their studies interrupted before migrating. Family members and close social contacts were the most common intermediaries for their migration. During transit, sexual violence and hunger were common, especially among Nigerians. Participants in both the quantitative and qualitative studies reported high levels of violence, deception, coercion, withheld wages and poor working conditions at destination. The adolescents interviewed in the qualitative study reported severe mental suffering, including suicide attempts. Only one reported the prosecution of perpetrators. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that interventions to prevent or mitigate the negative impact of adverse childhood experiences can contribute to preventing the trafficking of adolescents in Nigeria and Uganda. These interventions include social protection mechanisms, universal access to education, social service referrals and education of parents and carers. Importantly, effective prevention also needs to address the systemic conditions that makes trafficking of female adolescents invisible, profitable and inconsequential for perpetrators.

Type: Article
Title: Paper: violence, abuse and exploitation among trafficked women and girls: a mixed-methods study in Nigeria and Uganda
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-022-13021-2
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-022-13021-2
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Keywords: Human trafficking, Modern-slavery, Violence, Migration, Africa, Adolescents, Mixed-methods
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10147781
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