24 Nigerian girls rescued from sexual exploitation in Senegal

By Matthew Denis

In a collaborative effort, the Nigerian Embassy in Dakar and a prominent non-governmental organisation (NGO) have rescued 24 Nigerian girls from Sexual exploitation in Senegal.

The operation, which took place in the Tamaccounda and Kedougou regions, marks a significant victory in the ongoing fight against human trafficking and exploitation in West Africa.

It was gathered that the victims, mostly girls and women aged between 11 and 24, but predominantly underage girls, were trafficked to Senegal through Cotonou, Benin Republic, via the Mali-Senegal border for sexual exploitation.

The Acting Ambassador of the Nigerian Embassy in Dakar,Salihu Abubakar disclosed this on Sunday, June 23, 2024.

“These girls and many more are being trafficked to Senegal through Cotonou, Benin Republic via Mali to the Senegal border for prostitution,” Abubakar explained.

Preliminary investigations indicate that the majority of the girls and women were school dropouts from Edo and Delta states, with a few others from Imo, Abia, and two from Plateau.

Abubakar confirmed that out of the 24 girls and women, 22 had been repatriated weeks earlier, while the remaining two returned safely to Nigeria on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the health status of the victims and details regarding the duration of their exploitation remain undisclosed.

However, the diplomat emphasised that the successful repatriation highlights the strong international cooperation between the embassy and the NGO, “Free the Slaves” (La Lumiere in French), in combating human trafficking.

“Our main goal and number one priority is to discourage the trafficking of our Nigerian girls to any part of the world for prostitution under any guise,” he said.

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