Alagie Jinkang, University of Bologna
Italy’s illegal commercialised sex industry is estimated to be worth 90 million Euro and involves up to 9 million clients annually. The industry depends on migrants from Nigeria, Romania and Albania, many of whom are victims of human trafficking, abuse, exploitation, oppression, extreme educational and economic poverty, and non-integration in Italy. But despite legal and policy interventions, sexual exploitation of migrants is highly tolerated, goes largely unpunished and is increasingly threatening to migrant women’s wellbeing throughout the peninsula, as in the case of migrant women from Nigeria. This brief focuses on the Nigerian-Italian HTSE for two main reasons: (a) Italy’s proximity to the central Mediterranean route serving as key irregular route for migrant smugglers and human traffickers; (b) Italy’s dysfunctional and emergencial asylum systems coupled with its insufficient, untimely and inefficient policy intervention on migrants’ sexual exploitation, and; (c) perceptions and misinformation about Europe as source of economic and social opportunities and prestige, which all provide a fertile ground for mafia activities and organised crime to flourish. Therefore, coupled with PERCEPTIONS findings, this brief draws political attention to the intersections between irregular migration and asylum, mafia activities and organised crime, targeted deception and misinformation, abject poverty and traditional practices within the discourse of Nigerian-Italian HTSE.