By: Gwamkat Gwamzhi
A new exhibition is to be launched in London on 17 November exposing the trafficking of African women for sexual exploitation in the United Arab Emirates.
The Exhibition entitled; “Send Them Home – Stop Human Trafficking” would feature some thousands of vulnerable women who arrive in Dubai every year from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and across Africa after being sold false promises of working in well-paid jobs in the UAE.
A statement by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP says The event will be used to tell the tales of the women who upon arrival are tricked into forced sex work, with their passports often confiscated by their traffickers and told to regain their travel documents and freedom through paying their employer huge sums by engaging in sex work.
The exhibition is an immersive journey into the dark and complex world of human trafficking, providing visitors with an opportunity to hear real testimonies from survivors and activists from Africa and around the world.
It is organised by Send Them Home, a campaign group helping to repatriate Nigerian and other African women trafficked to the UAE for forced sex work, and Hope Education Project, a pilot education programme in Ghana tackling human trafficking at its source.
Founder of Send Them Home and Hope Education Project, Angus Thomas described the exhibition as one that “provides a platform for these important stories to be heard. Like many vulnerable women the world over, they were cruelly manipulated and exploited – with officials seemingly allowing human trafficking to flourish and sex workers to operate openly in the UAE’s lavish international hotels. Yet in the face of deception, adversity, and abuse, these women have shown incredible strength and bravery.”
Shining a light on the dark underground world of human trafficking through this immersive exhibition empowers visitors with the knowledge of the survivors’ experiences to recognise and, one day I hope, eradicate human trafficking for good.”
Send The Home is currently working with the Nigerian National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to repatriate three women trafficked to the UAE for forced sex work. One of which has just returned to Nigeria, whilst two others are waiting in a safe location in Dubai for their emergency travel documents to be processed and are expected to be leave the UAE in the coming weeks.
Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi, Director General of Nigeria’s NAPTIP, said:
” Since 2018, we have had 146 trafficking victims emanating from the UAE – including potential victims intercepted from airports. The highest number we have seen was in 2022 when we coordinated 63 rescues and repatriations.”
“We are working with Send Them Home to rescue more women from the UAE. Next week, we expect to receive three more survivors of human trafficking forced into sex work to be safely returned to Nigeria.”
The exhibition is open from 17th November to 20th December 2023.