The Silent Crisis: Nigerian Girls Trapped in Mali's Web of Trafficking

In a disturbing revelation from the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), it is reported that over 2,000 young Nigerian girls find themselves ensnared in Mali's complex trafficking network. This unsettling information highlights the depth and reach of human trafficking across borders, a stark reminder of the urgent need for international action.

Nduka Nwanwene, NAPTIP's Benin Zone Commander, shared this chilling information. He also revealed an alarming shift in trafficking dynamics, with traffickers smuggling young girls from Mali into Benin for sexual exploitation.

Addressing the issue at the 2023 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons in Benin, an event themed "Reach every victim of trafficking, leave no one behind," Nwanwene urged everyone to join forces in the fight against human trafficking, a monstrous crime that continues to impede the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.

He further praised the effort led by Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi, head of NAPTIP, in progressing effective evidence-based rehabilitation, the successful conviction of high-profile traffickers, and empowerment of survivors. But while these strides are commendable, the scale of the crisis remains immense, with the latest intelligence suggesting an overwhelming 20,000 Nigerian girls are stranded in Mali.

The situation calls for urgent action, reminding us that the fight against human trafficking is far from over. It requires a consolidated international effort, a shared commitment to "leave no one behind."


Business Day. (2023). Over 2,000 Nigerian girls stuck in Mali – NAPTIP. Retrieved July 29, 2023, from