Paris park where Nigerian women are forced into prostitution.
A new report by the CNN has revealed how some women trafficked from Nigeria are forced into prostitution in a park in Paris, capital city of France.
Over the years, stories of women deceived into giving up their money for a “better life” in Europe but later forced into prostitution, have made news headlines.
In the recent discovery, the Bois de Vincennes, a park on the outskirts of eastern Paris, is popular with joggers and boules players during the day but a business spot for Nigerian sex workers when darkness descends.
Nadège (not real name), one of the trafficked women, who managed to escape, told CNN how a female Nigerian pimp, “Madam”, she met in Lagos promised her a job as a waitress in Europe.
“I was told it was like a paradise but getting here, it was like from frying pan to fire,” Negede said.
Nadège, 20, was trafficked from Nigeria to France and forced into sexual slavery at €20 ($23).
She and other girls would later have to pay off a huge debt of €50,000 ($57,690) and sometimes more, to Madam.
According to Nadège, before leaving Nigeria, the victims were made to take an oath at a “juju” temple never to speak about their deal with madam nor the debts they owe her.
At night, prostitutes work from vans parked at the roadside in the park.
She said they were made to lie in a coffin while taking the oath, with a threat of death (return to the coffin) if they broke the rules.
Nagede said she travelled from Nigeria to France with a fake passport her madam gave her. She was sent to work in the Bois a week after she arrived.
Her madam gave her a €100 daily target and took away her passport and all her earnings, except money for food and rent.
“Sometimes you work from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the morning, maybe get home by 8 a.m.,” she said.
She would start work again, elsewhere, from 3 pm. “Until 6 p.m., then you have to go to your normal place of work.”
Nagede said she cut ties with her madam when she got pregnant a year later and decided to keep her baby.
Bois de Vincennes is popular with joggers and boules players in the day
She said after her escape, “I was waiting patiently for the death or the madness. I was like… ‘Should I go over to the street and start working? Should I abort my baby?’”
Nagede discouraged other young ladies against journeying to Europe in search of greener pastures, saying: “Don’t even think of it.”
“Even now I don’t have hope for myself. My past already destroyed my future,” She said.
“No matter what I am tomorrow, I am still going to be useless, because, I can’t proudly say my story.”
In March, CNN published a report of how Nima Elbagir, one of its correspondents, went undercover in order to have a first-hand experience of migrants who risk their lives to Europe through the desert.
Josephine Iyamu, a nurse of Nigerian descent, was in the same month, found guilty by a British court of trafficking five women to Germany for prostitution.