Informations and abstract
Keywords: Nigerian Trafficking; Sexual Exploitation; Madame; Ju-Ju Rites; Turin and Genoa.
For over twenty years Italy has represented the main European destination for trafficking and sexual exploitation of Nigerian women, deployed by a complex criminal system. The Nigerian criminal network is characterized by specific features, attributable to the particular social and cultural Nigerian context. This criminal system has an organizational structure that is unusual, as it is made up of women - ex victims of trafficking - in charge of supervising the exploitation of compatriot girls. The religious dimension - a particular mixture of pagan rites ("ju-ju" or "voodoo") and Christian tradition (pentecostal congregation) - plays a fundamental role in the Nigerian racket. The religion is used as an effective instrument of coercion for the young women ("ju-ju" rites) and it also represents a moral support, able to give legitimacy to the criminal phenomenon of trafficking. The aim of this article is to analyze this complex criminal network in Turin and Genoa, as they represent the core area of Nigerian women exploitation in the Northeastern Italy. The fieldwork also aims to show the current "modus operandi" of the traffickers and it points out the racket differences and similarities within the two areas. The purpose of this research is to review the dichotomic categories like victim/butcher or exploited/exploiter and words like slavery and slave traffic, often used in the academic literature, but often unable to illustrate the complexity of the present system of coercion and exploitation.