A verdict is expected at the end of this month in the trial of 16  members of a mostly female network of Nigerian human traffickers operating forced prostitution rings in France. The traffickers went on trial last week at the High Court of Paris, facing their accusers as the trafficked women testified to being lied to, beaten and raped.   Plaintiffs  began giving testimony on May 14 against a group known as the “Authentic Sisters”, saying they were trafficked from Nigeria, abused and forced into prostitution. While eight women are testifying in the case, a total of 49 victims have come forward. The defendants are being tried for procuring and trafficking in human beings, crimes that carry a maximum sentence of 10 years. “It is rare to get this many women to testify,” said a social worker for Bus De Femme, who did not want to be named for security reasons. Bus De Femme, an NGO that provides a range of health and social services to sex workers in Paris, provided pro-bono lawyers for the victims in the case. In some cases the group’s volunteers and staff worked for years with the women to build up enough trust to convince them to testify. “These girls are often incredibly traumatised and terrified to speak out,” the social worker said. Nigerian members of Bus De Femme’s staff, some of whom are former sex workers themselves, played an integral part.     Read more: