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Thousands of Nigerian Asylum seekers disappear in the Netherlands

Reports show that about 1,089 Nigerian asylum seekers who arrived in the Netherlands between last year and January this year have disappeared, it is assumed that many of the Nigerians fell victim to human traffickers who forced them into prostitution or drug trafficking across the EU. The European journalism collective said of the 2,461 Nigerian asylum seekers in the Netherlands in 2019, 961 cannot be located. Another 128 Nigerians who arrived in January of this year also disappeared, according to an investigation by the journalist group Lost in Europe.

A member of the Dutch centre against Human and Child Trafficking, Shamir Ceuleers, in an interview with News Nigeria said the results are not surprising as they do follow a pattern that has been happening for years in the Netherlands. The non-governmental organisation has voiced that more action needs to be taken towards this issue to protect the thousands of Nigerians that fall victim to human traffickers in the Netherlands. “The Dutch police should create a specific West African human trafficking unit, which invests in knowledge and expertise and is well connected to the West African community that we have here in the Netherlands. “And by using this and creating this expertise, the Dutch police would be well equipped to prosecute these trafficking rings,” he said.

Many young people from Nigeria are lured with promises of a better life in Europe and only shortly after arrival are they forced to abandon their dreams and work in jobs such as prostitution, forced labour, among others. This is to pay back the money they owe for being brought across the border by their traffickers. The government in Netherlands should make better effort to protect asylum seekers from such practices that are becoming normalised but despite the up and downs, this malpractice has not stopped them form migrating,