How I escaped sex trafficking in Italy: Nigerian lady honoured by U.S.
July 04, 2018
Credits: The Nation
As Blessing Okoedion stepped onto the podium to receive the 2018 Trafficking in Persons Hero Award in the United States; not many would be able to comprehend the depth of anguish she once put up with as a victim of sex trafficking in Italy. Betrayed and tricked into prostituting on the streets of Italy, Blessing found grace under pressure by taking the initiative to report her traffickers to the police. She did not stop at fighting for her freedom; she is also working to raise awareness about human trafficking in Italy. A long, tortuous journey Before landing in Italy in 2013, Okoedion managed a business selling computer accessories and rechargeable lambs in Edo State. Unlike many victims of human trafficking from the region, Blessing was not tricked with the promise of coming to work as a house help or hair stylist. She was an ambitious young lady and traffickers lured her with the prospect of travelling to Spain to work in a computer store. “Nobody could tell me to come to Italy to work as a maid. I was educated; I had a business and I read newspapers and journals. I waited for the years it took to process my visa and I never took an oath before leaving Nigeria”, she said whilst arguing that anyone could become a victim of human trafficking regardless of their educational qualifications. Read more: The Nation