26 Nigerian Girls Found Murdered on Migrant Boat

SALERNO, ITALY.  Prosecutors in Italy are investigating the death of 26 Nigerian women, most of whom were teenagers between the ages of 14-18, who were found dead at sea.  Their bodies were recovered, along with 375 other migrants (most of whom were from sub-Saharan Africa), by the Spanish warship, Cantabria, in the Mediterranean Sea, amidst suspicions that the women had been sexually assaulted before they were brutally murdered after leaving Libya. Five of the 375 survivor migrants who were rescued along with the recovered bodies of the young women, are being questioned by Italian authorities in Salerno, Italy.  Two arrests have now been made.  Of the 375 migrants rescued, 90 of them were women, eight of whom were pregnant. It is noteworthy that 90% of female migrants report violence, starvation, torture and/or rape by Libyan militants and various gangs on their journey.  In 2016, approximately 11,000 Nigerian women successfully made the treacherous journey from Nigeria to Italy, crossing both the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea.  It is estimated that double, if not triple that number, unsuccessfully attempted the journey.  Many remain in detention camps in Libya, uncertain of their fate. Doctors Without Boarders, which maintains a rescue mission on the Mediterranean Sea, reports that 70% of all single women they rescue at sea are from Nigeria.  To find out how you can support our efforts to end the scourge of sex trafficking from Nigeria, please email us at info@pathfindersji.org.