Exploitation of Nigerian women in Iraq
The Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Prof Fatima Waziri-Azi, in a statement while speaking on the plight of young women has said that Nigerian women working in Iraq are exploited in diverse ways.
She claimed These women who work as domestic workers are exploited on daily basis, and are now requesting assistance to return home.
We are inundated with pleas for rescue and repatriation from female victims trafficked to Iraq, especially to the cities of Baghdad and Basra where they are distributed to homes by their recruiters to a hard life of domestic servitude.
Available information shows that many of these victims have been admitted to hospital many times due to long work hours under harsh conditions they are forced to undergo.
“Most of them have complained of deteriorating health resulting from the weight of work”, she added.
“They are constantly under threat of being harmed either by their direct employers or the Iraqi agents, each time they complained of unbearable workload. Many of them have no access to their phones because their phones are seized immediately, they are paired with an employer”
“They are never allowed out of the premises where they are serving and even when communication is established with them for rescue, they cannot give details of their location,” she said.
According to the DG, Nigerian women were constantly being sexually harassed by members of the household where they serve and called on Nigerians to be cautioned of the desperate quest to travel out of the country for greener pastures.
She stressed the need for people to evaluate every travel offer that came their way carefully and seek for second and third opinion before accepting such offers outside the country.
The DG stated that NAPTIP would continue to work with relevant Ministries, Department and Agencies in Nigeria and partners to ensure the safe return of the victims from Iraq.