Sex Trade Trafficking and Effects of Prostitution

By Obiotika Wilfred Tochukwu

Modern Slavery Act in Europe was what got a Nigerian senator, Ike Ekweremmadu, behind the bars with the wife and doctor in London. Sex trafficking is also a crime that bothers on modern slavery. Sex trafficking is human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Many young girls either because of abuse, poverty or choice, now use prostitution as a means of income.

Trafficking Victims Protection Act 2000 covers all inducement that can turn someone into a commercial sex worker. Sex Trafficking and Prostitution is a form of human trafficking. Vulnerabilities as poverty, lack of lawful migration status or lack, predispose young ladies to such venture. Trafficking victims are deceived by false promises of love, a good job, or a stable life and are lured or forced into situations where they are made to work under deplorable conditions with little or no pay.

Victims are exploited either on the streets, illicit massage parlours, cantinas, brothels or escort services. The traffickers could be anybody – family members, partners, acquaintances and strangers. They can act alone or part of an organised criminal enterprise. Some are males while others are females. They can be pimps, gang members, business owners or company owners.

The 2020 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons shows that 50% per cent of detected victims in 2018 were trafficked for sexual exploitation, 38% were exploited for forced labour, 6% were subjected to forced criminal activity while 1% were coerced into begging and smaller number into forced marriages, organ removal and other purposes. Industries most affected are catering, restaurants, domestic work, entertainment and the sex industry.

Getting caught and arrested could be difficult especially in countries with high corruption index and poverty indicative. Women and young girls may be offered jobs as models, nannies, waitresses or dancers. Some traffickers operate under the guise of agencies that offer cross-country dating services. However, upon arrival, these individuals are abused, threatened and sold into the sex industry. Victims of sex trafficking may eventually perform other functions, in addition to being forced sex workers.

Hook-ups is rampant and call girls are on the increase as poverty intensifies and hardship thickens in Nigeria. So many ‘tricks’, ‘johns’ have devised modern ways to defraud innocent girls who have been forced into the sex industry against their will. On Friday 2nd June 2023, it was reported how a man,53, invited a sex worker to his house and after having carnal knowledge of her stole her purse containing N92,300.

Engaging in prostitution can expose individuals to various health risks, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and other communicable diseases. Some may face feelings of guilt, shame, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem due to societal stigma, marginalization, and objectification. Traumatic experiences, such as violence, abuse, or coercion, can contribute to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental health challenges.

Society often stigmatizes and marginalizes individuals involved in prostitution, leading to social isolation and discrimination. This stigma can affect personal relationships, housing, employment opportunities, and access to social services, perpetuating a cycle of vulnerability. Some individuals involved in prostitution may turn to substance abuse as a means of coping with the emotional and physical challenges they face.

Drug addiction can further exacerbate the risks and negative consequences associated with prostitution.In areas where prostitution is criminalized, individuals engaging in sex work may face legal consequences, leading to arrests, fines, or imprisonment. This further contributes to social marginalization and can impact future opportunities. It may not all be laziness that pushes young ladies into prostitution in Nigeria.

The display of ill-gotten wealth, flashy, exotic cars owned by ‘Yahoo Boyz’ and harsh economic realities could be an attraction. Seeing a friend beefing up and smiling in an austere living conditions could be a drive. Commercial sex workers suffer from assault, violence, economic manipulation and other stuffs. Not considering what could be referred to as ‘Daughters of Jezebel’, young girls who become hookers find it hard to love genuinely and they cheat uncontrollably in their marriage.

We may not have the full gist here but the sexual revolution of the Western society has led to the decadent lifestyle amongst African women. Casual sex is now seen as part of enjoying one’s youth. The legalization of prostitution in some parts of Europe and America which many blacks are quick to imitate has affected lives in the country.

Prostitution is a very damaging commerce on the female psyche. In fact, sex in general is the deepest part of a woman’s experience and any insecure sexual surrender is a heavy blow to any woman. Women do not enjoy being promiscuous. Most of them in it are trapped by unfair conditions of life; very difficult situations from which they have not been able to escape.

God ordained it that the sweetness of the affection and security which a woman enjoys in her husband’s lair must be an environment in which sexual surrender should happen. In order words, they seem to be overwhelmed by sweet surrender in which they become available for arduous and hazardous journey of motherhood. Girls are likely to yield to sex pressure to the extent they’re vulnerable.

Therefore, all the decadent women, who are loose on the internet and everywhere are merely victims of one social condition or another. UNICEF estimates that as many as 2 million children and young people are exploited in the worldwide sex trade every year. It can only take a sensitive and responsible government to consider that 4 persons are exploited every minute. Only 1% of those who are abducted into the sex trade are being rescued from it. When these young girls get too old to have value to their pimps, or too sick to work, or become pregnant or diseased; they are thrown away like rubbish.

Most ladies are mentally wounded and they carry emotional and mental scars and struggle with the effects for the rest of their lives. We all should become aware, alarmed and activated and not avoid the problem or claim complete ignorance. It’s not for our government to relegate the matter to the unconstitutional office of the “First Lady”. Only when enough people speak up do politicians start to act. We could as well support ministries and NGOs that are involved in it.

Most girls may look normal but has been traumatized by early sexual exposure. And they will subsequently be susceptible to future suggestions and overtures. This enables rascal men to walk into strip clubs, brothels, easily spot a needy girl, trapped in unfavourable situation and exploit them continuously.

The future is often scary and the ability to articulate story of a projected future is a not a common property of every girl especially those from broken homes or those who lack parental care, love, affection and security/support. The young lady that calls you ‘Daddy’ with shuddering loyalty, needs guidance, protection, assurance and security. Weak parenting damages girls more than boys.

Sadly, all these sociopsychological conditions predispose females to male sexual predation. We are in the era of skills, what you know and what you can do with your brain or hands (creativity). We’re in the era of Artificial intelligence where machines are displacing people from their jobs. UNESCO’s four Pillars of Education are: Learning to know, learning to live together, learning to do and learning to be. Parents should streamline the priorities of their loved ones including their wards so that they remain relevant during their era by exposing them to profitable skills, side by side the normal classroom education.  Character is a major determinant of destiny.

When there is moral decadence in a person, he or she finds it difficult to fulfill destiny. If you don’t have bad name or reputation, people would easily trust you.  When you have gained the trust of others, opportunities become effortless. No matter where the world is heading to, we must check the behaviour and lifestyle we exhibit. God knows and sees everyone.

Not only does the LORD watch, everyone watches you. God maintains a record of everyone now against the day of reckoning which is at hand. Many careless youths who are not praying, have been craftily ensnared into immoral relationships, fleshly lusts, gambling, carnal competition, pool betting, fashion fads, dishonesty, cybercrimes. Youths are urged to dare to be different from the world to fulfill the purpose of their lives.

Obiotika Wilfred Toochukwu writes from LAGOS.