Overtime, universities in Europe have
also embarked upon a recruitment drive to attract Nigerian students. Education
has remained an important reason for Nigerian emigration, and labour migration
from Nigeria has also become increasingly feminine (Adepoju, 2000: 386). A significant
good number of Nigerians yearly apply for refugee status in European
countries. According to Carling 2004, in his work he noted that in 2004,
Nigerians were the fifth largest group of asylum seekers in Europe. Because of
its size and its current relative stability, Nigerians have less chance of
obtaining asylum status than those of other ECOWAS countries which are directly
affected by civil war.

The issue surrounding the trafficking
of female Nigerian sex workers to Italy and other European countries has
received substantial attention (Carling, 2006). Most of these prospective
future sex hawkers are recruited from
the southern Edo state. For these prostitutes, the most important country of destination
is Italy, where it is believed that as many as 10, 000 Nigerian prostitutes reside.
Other destinations these sex hawkers routes to includes Spain, Netherlands and
a range of other countries (Carling, 2006). As a response to Europe’s high
demand for low-skilled workforce in the 1980s in agriculture and services, Nigerians
began migrating travelling to
Italy; these women were only one of many groups that migrated. The first
prostitutes tended had the
propensity to work independently, but in the early 1990s,
immigration restrictions made prospective potential
emigrants increasingly dependent on large loans in order to
so as to
pay for their journey, of which this provided
an opportunity opening for
traffickers (Carling, 2006). A potential sex hawker’s initial contact with
traffickers is often made through a relative, friend, or other familiar person,
who puts her in contact with a ‘madam’ who organizes and finances the journey.
The costs charges may
range from US$40 000 to US$100 000. The migrants and the madam conclude with
an ‘pact’agreement’,
religiously sealed by a traditional chief priest,
which obliges enchants debt
repayment in exchange for a safe passage expedition
to Europe. In Europe, the women are under the control of another
madam, a counterpart of the madam in Nigeria. Most of these women
realize that they are going to work as prostitutes, but do not necessarily know
about the arduous tough conditions
under which (street) prostitutes have tomust
work, nor the magnitudesize
of their debt (Carling, 2006). However, this work does offer some ‘career’
prospects. Within one or two years when they can repay their migration debt
based on the agreement, these women are essentially free, and it is fairly
common for them to become a supervisor of other prostitutes and, at the long
run they may become “madam” themselves. According to Carling (2006), he
highlighted that this prospect likelihood of
upward mobility is an incentive to comply with the pactagreement,
and that the strong element of mutual benefit between traffickers and
trafficked women makes it difficult strenuous
to reduce this form of trafficking. According to a recent study,
in Kano state, traffickers successfully exploited took
advantage of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca to traffic children,
men and women for different exploitative purposes; for prostitution, begging
and all kind of domestic work (Ehindero et al., 2006). However, in
light ofbearing in mind
the attention currently being given to trafficking, it is important to
 stresspoint
out that, for Nigerian migration, trafficking seems the concession
rather than the rule. The large majority ofMost
Nigerians migrate voluntarily, and even in the case of trafficking it is clear
obvious that the line between
voluntary and forced migration is blurred. It is also important to make a distinction
discrepancy between trafficking and
smuggling. While many previously migrated on their own initiative, increasing
restrictions have made more and more migrants depend
moreent
on the services of smugglers in crossing borders. Whereas Although
until the 1990s migrants to Europe predominantly used aircrafts
links;,
visa requirements and increasing immigration controls at air- likewiseand
seaports, seem to have led to an increasing reliance on trans-Saharan, overland
routes to the Maghreb countries, and in particular to Morocco, from where
Nigerians and other sub-Saharan Africans attempt to cross the Mediterranean to
southern Europe. Another now-popularprevalent
route is via the Atlantic Ocean and the Canary Islands (de Haas, 2006b).

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

 Scattered Dispersed evidence
on the origin of Nigerian immigrants in Europe and the US strongly
suggests that the majority originate from the relatively developed and densely
populated southern provinces. The Ibo from the southeast and the Yoruba from
the southwest, and, to a lesser extent the Edo and the Ogoni ethnic groups,
seem to constitute the majority ofgreater part of
Nigerian migrants in the UK (Hernandez-Coss, et al. 2007). The majority
bulk of the Nigerians
trafficked to Europe seem to originate from Edo state, and Benin City
in particularCity
.specifically.
Edo and, to a lessersome
extent, the Delta states are known as the main origin source
areas of sex workers. The Hausa and other northern groups seem
relatively more preoccupied with migration to the Gulf States. The
predominantly Muslim character of the north as well as the position of the
northern city of Kano as a major air hub in the hadj (the Muslim pilgrimage to
Mecca), might partially explain this connection.

Reliable data on Nigerian migration is lackingnot
sufficient. Nigerian authorities do not register or estimate
emigration, which presumably apparently
reflects a low interest in the issue. Also, receiving country
statistics are incompletedeficient,
as many countries do not include naturalized and second-generation Nigerians in
immigrant statistics, and because of the substantial presence of irregular
migrants. It was estimated in Nigeria’s 2005 Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
(PRSP) that more than four hundred thousand Nigerians (mostly highly educated)
have emigrated to Europe and the United States (NNPC, 2004), but the empirical
basis for this claim remains unclear. According to some embassies, at least 1
million Nigerians are living in the US and the UK, and another 500 000 in
Germany and Canada. Hernandez-Coss et al. (2007) even claim that 5 million
Nigerians are currently living abroad. However, these estimates lack empirical
underpinning.