On Tuesday January 22nd, Julie Okah-Donli , the Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) reported that they have concrete evidence that as many as 20,000 girls have been discovered to have been kidnapped and sold into prostitution in Mali.
According to the report they were informed by locals around the Southern part of Mali that that they had over 200 places scattered. In each of the shacks where they held, they had 100 to 150 girls being held hostage. “That is how we came to the figure of at least 20,000 being held” (Julie Donlie)
Arinze Osakwe who was a part of a previous NAPTIP rescue mission, disclosed that these girls (many of whom were working in nightclubs and hotels), were tricked and told they had an opportunity going to Malaysia, working in five-star restaurants and would be paid $700 per month.
“We brought back 104 girls just from three ramshackle brothels, and those were the ones that were even willing to come. They were mostly between the age of 13 and 25, and they had been trapped in the country for many years,”
Arinze Osakwe (2011) – CNN
The agency is working with Malian authorities, the International Organization for Migration and National Emergency Management Agency to send the girls back to Nigeria. Back in December of 2018 the teams managed to bring back 41 girls from Mali and working to return others home. The director stated they may be planning to send in a team to other countries including Ghana, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Senegal next.