About 80 percent of Nigerian women and girls, who arrive Italy, are sex trafficking victims, according to Vatican news agency, Agenzia Fides.

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“Hundreds of thousands of people fall victim to human trafficking every year in Africa alone,” said Monsignor Ignatius Ayau Kaigama at an international conference against human trafficking organised by Christian Organisations Against Trafficking in Human Beings, (COATNET) and Catholic Charity Caritas, Abuja.

”Of the overall number of victims, 79 percent are sexually exploited and the majority are women,” said Kaigama, who is the Archbishop of Jos and President of the Nigerian Bishops Conference.

He added: “The remaining 21 percent are coerced into forced labour, and the majority of these are men.

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“In some parts of West Africa, the majority of trafficking victims are children under 18. This conference must find a way to put an end to child labour in all its forms.”

He also appealed to the Nigerian government “to look at the issue of trafficking in persons as a national disgrace and take urgent and lasting steps to deal with the root causes. This is especially in light of the fact that recent reports claim that 80% of Nigerian girls who arrive Italy, do so for sex trafficking purposes”.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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