Journalist Jenny Kleeman has agreed to take part in a new humanrightseurope podcast on human trafficking in Europe.
Last February, Jenny, a London-based reporter for the award-winning Unreported World, produced by the United Kingdom’s Channel 4, travelled to the southern Nigerian state of Edo to confront traffickers who send women to Italy to work as sex slaves.
Edo is considered the trafficking capital of Africa and is also the home of Juju, a traditional West African religion.
Jenny discovered that the women trafficked into Europe from Edo, take part in a religious ritual prior to departure, swearing an oath of allegiance to their traffickers, which they dare not break. This oath allows the traffickers, in an industry dominated by female madams, to keep the women trapped in sexual slavery.
Jenny says: “These women are coerced by Juju and not physical violence. The men don’t need muscle. They have spirits on their side.”
In a remarkable documentary, Jenny spoke with a victim of trafficking forced into prostitution in Italy who contracted the HIV virus, a 23 year old Edo woman on the verge of leaving for Italy and her “boyfriend” who will profit from her activities in Europe.
One woman interviewed by Jenny, arrived in Italy to be told that she owed her traffickers €50,000 plus living costs. This included €300 a month in “rent” for the right to solicit from a patch of pavement in Milan.
“I can’t escape this unless I pay,” the woman said. “Africans have very strong charms that can destroy someone in the twinkle of an eye.”
Jenny will give the background to this story and others next month in a podcast devoted to the issue of trafficking.
The Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) is responsible for monitoring member states’ enforcement of the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.
The Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings entered into force on 1 February 2008.
The treaty has now been ratified by 34 Council of Europe member states: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Georgia, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain , Sweden, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
It has also been signed but not yet ratified by another 9 Council of Europe member states: Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Lithuania, Switzerland and Turkey.
Website: Find out more about Jenny Kleeman
Documentary: Unreported World – Sex, Lies and Black Magic
Viewpoint: Jenny on trafficking
News: The curse of ‘juju’ that drives sex slaves to Europe
Information: CoE Action Against Trafficking In Human Beings
Treaty: Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings
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