Nollywood actress Stephanie Linus, says her advocacy visit to Italy, on human trafficking was to further raise awareness on the heinous crime and give hope to trafficked victims in Italy. Linus who is at the moment in Italy is advocating for victims of human trafficking in partnership with the international medical humanitarian organization – Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and SOS Mediterranee.
According to a statement from Linus, she met with the women, listened to their stories on how they ended up in Italy and gave them assurance of hope.
“It got even more interesting when the women decided to prepare a meal together, sing and exchange hand-made gifts.It was truly a heart warming experience as hope was renewed in their midst” Linus said
Stephanie Linus also mentioned that prior to her visit to the women, she had made a courtesy visit to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office where she was given a deeper insight into the operations of the organization in Italy.
Her advocacy move is coming in the wake of the increased rate of human trafficking being experienced by Nigerians and other Africans trying to migrate to Europe via Libya.
She added further that she also visited the rescue ship “Aquarius” to witness their activities and operations. She was given a tour of the ship, and afterwards, discussions on the overall need to educate people on the dangers of being trafficked and integrating the rescued victims back into the society followed.
Her activities were rounded off by a press conference with several members of the international media where she talked about measures that can be utilised to stop human trafficking.
An increasing number of women, mainly from Nigeria, are being trafficked to Europe for sexual exploitation. According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), there has been an almost 600% increase in the number of potential sex trafficking victims arriving in Italy by Sea since 2014.
Many of these women were kidnapped against their will or lured with the promise of greener pastures.