Emerging Issues in the Trafficking of African Women for Prostitution
This chapter explores crucial issues that impact the trafficking of women in Africa. It begins by locating the origin of trafficking in Africa, and proceeds to bring to the fore various social, political, economic, religious and cultural problems that African women so co-opted and burdened undergo in their home and destination countries. The chapter argues that these factors underpin trafficking in Africa, increase the vulnerability of African women to trafficking, and also make the ugly and dehumanizing trade an attractive business for criminal syndicates. The chapter posits that the African and international community cannot treat the symptoms of trafficking without first diagnosing the disease. A diagnosis will assist in locating the underlying factors that trigger as well as exacerbate trafficking in Africa. Trafficking should be tackled from the roots. A holistic response to the call for eradication of trafficking in Africa requires an engagement of these root factors because they are the breeding grounds for trafficking. In an attempt to fill this gap, the chapter offers both a descriptive and prescriptive analysis of the root causes of trafficking in Africa. Structurally it comprises two parts. Part I embodies the introduction, gives the general dimensions of trafficking, outlines the history of trafficking in Africa, lays down a compendium of trafficking statistics, gives an overview of the factors influencing trafficking in Africa, and describes the operative mechanisms of trafficking syndicates. Part II contains a close-contextual analysis of African and international approaches to the eradication of trafficking, including the effects of the structural adjustment program on trafficking in Africa. It also appraises the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the Nigerian Trafficking Act. Finally, it delineates the responsibility of states in the provision of grass-root solutions to human trafficking.