Locating the place of consent in the movement of Nigerian women for prostitution in Italy

  • Olufunke Aluko-Daniels

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    The history of international human trafficking law suggests that the trafficking of women for prostitution is a not a new phenomenon. The earliest approach to address the problem was founded on a moral ground but adopted a law enforcement strategy by criminalising the procurement of women for prostitution. Consequently consent at the time was discountenanced in favour of the end purpose for which the women were moved. This approach prevailed over a long period until the adoption of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Trafficking Protocol)in 2000.

    The Trafficking Protocol adopts a three thronged (prevention, protection and prosecution) approach to combating human trafficking. Whilst this is a novel approach the Trafficking Protocol makes consent irrelevant only when the movement of the women is procured through coercion. Accordingly consent or lack of consent became an essential element for distinguishing trafficking from
    other migratory crimes such as human smuggling. The challenge of applying consent as criterion to differentiate human trafficking from human smuggling particularly becomes problematical when applied to the movement of women for prostitution. This is especially so in the light of feminists’ debate on whether
    prostitution should be conceptualised as sex work or as violence against women. To establish consent or lack of consent in the context of the Trafficking Protocol is complicated, inexhaustive framing of the consent nullifying elements ignores country specific and cultural practices in recruitment of women for prostitution.
    This thesis demonstrates the complexity of using consent as a criterion to determine whether Nigerian women moved into Italy are trafficked or voluntary agents. In doing so the thesis highlights the extent to which the interpretation of consent may be influenced by social, cultural and socio-legal issues. This thesis accentuate juju oath ritual and debt bondage as frequently employed to recruit and move Nigerian women into prostitution as consent nullifying elements.
    Date of Award2014
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorSimon Massey (Supervisor)

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