Why start with Nigeria?
With a history in human trafficking through the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Nigeria has a unique responsibility and leadership role to play in ending modern-day slavery. By taking back the human capital, potential and lives that have fueled the human-trafficking industry, we give Nigeria the opportunity to thrive, not only in Africa but in the world.
By establishing best-practices in Nigeria for eradicating sex-trafficking (a global hotspot for trafficking and transit), we create a blueprint the world can use to eradicate sex-trafficking anywhere.
At Pathfinders, we’re not a team of outsiders trying to “fix” problems in Africa. We lead from within, engaging local leaders to build solutions for a global problem by addressing root causes.
We’ve identified four root causes that facilitate sex-trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and girls in Nigeria and address these through our programming:
- Root Cause 1: Socio-cultural norms and paradigms that devalue the lives of women and girls.
- Root Cause 2: Policy and legislation that permit sex-trafficking with impunity.
- Root Cause 3: Lack of inclusive community awareness and education.
- Root Cause 4: Lack of access to life-sustaining economic opportunity and basic social services.
Our commitment is to ensure that the 100,000 girls in Edo State that are most vulnerable to being trafficked are rendered slave-proof by the year 2025.
Here’s how we’re making this vision a reality:
The Justice Initiative (TJI)
Root Causes Addressed: Root Cause 2
Through this project, we seek to dismantle inequitable social structures by educating, advising and calling into account policymakers and gate-keepers who have the power to end sex-trafficking. By working with law enforcement, legislators, judges, and other decision-makers to create systems, policies and practices that close the gaps that permit trafficking, we reduce the number of victims. Our work here is twofold: shed light on these systemic gaps and close them through training, accountability and legal advocacy.
Additionally, we organize and conduct national and international trainings and workshops for Parliamentarians, government officials and the general public on human trafficking and migration.
PJI is listed on Polaris’ Global Modern Slavery Directory and maintains special consultative status to the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council.
Pathway to Freedom
Root Cause Addressed: Root Cause 4
Our core project prevents sex-trafficking, liberates trapped women and girls and provides a new path forward for at-risk women and girls. We provide alternative paths to livelihood, education, awareness of the dangers and risks of sex-trafficking as well as the core resources needed to reduce the exposure to risk.
Our programming has two arms: we help women and girls vulnerable to being trafficked (pre-trafficking) and assist those who have already been trafficked to leave captivity and rebuild their lives with custom PATH Plans, legal services, financial literacy and start-up capital, vocational skills training, education scholarships, job training and placement, counseling, medical services and housing. The Pathfinder Project, our social enterprise, utilizes an adapted ‘basic income guarantee model’ to provide survivors with sustained, monthly income generated via their own businesses.
Our 20-bed safehouse facility is the only one in Edo State dedicated exclusively to sex-trafficking survivors.
Our work reclaims the concepts of community, family, and trust among survivors. From there, we create the lateral bonds that facilitate a supportive economic network of women on their transformative journey from victim to survivor to advocate.
Root Causes Addressed: Root Causes 1 and 3
Our community transformation/education project brings awareness to local communities about the hidden realities of sex-trafficking, its impact, alternative economic pathways and the power of women and girls. Truth Tellers accomplishes this through campaigns, training, seminars, daily public service announcements on radio and monthly outreach initiatives and workshops. Additionally, Truth Tellers engages male allies as a way of building cross-gender support and breaking down cultural norms around the devaluation of women.
By taking a ‘root-cause’ approach, we eradicate sex-trafficking and sexual violence before they have a chance to start. We thereby ensure the safety of women and girls today and in the future.