Abike's Story - Trafficked from Nigeria to the UK

Meet Abike... At age 23 Abike became a victim of sex trafficking.

Abike was living in Nigeria with her two young children. Because her husband was working in Austria, and her nearest relatives had passed away, Abike was taken in by her Husband’s family. Sadly, his family attacked her and threw her out of their home. Abike was alone and separated from her children.

While working as a waitress, Abike was approached by a trafficker, who promised her a new life as a nanny in the UK. On arrival in London, her passport was confiscated and she was forced into sexual slavery.

Abike escaped her captor and attempted to return to her husband in Austria. However she was detained for use of counterfeit identification. After a retrial she was released as a victim of trafficking. Abike has since been reunited with her children, but struggles with the memory of her past experiences.

This comic was kindly commissioned by The Guardian and facilitated by The Poppy Project.

Discussion Points

  1. What are your initial reflections on Abike’s story?

  2. How does her story differ from the stories you hear in the media? Did you know that an estimated 45.8 million people end up in some form of human slavery worldwide? (Global Slavery Index 2016)

  3. How and why was Abike displaced? How did she become a victim of human trafficking?

  4. How has Abike adapted to what has happened to her? How do you think she feels?

  5. What would you have done in her situation?

  6. How should human trafficking survivors and asylum seekers such as Abike be integrated into our society?

  7. What are her options now that she has arrived in London?

  8. How did the authorities treat Abike? Did you know that there are an estimated 11 million victims of human trafficking in the UK alone?

  9. How does the media report these issues in different contexts?

  10. Is it always easy to spot when a news article is biased?

  11. How are you different, and similar to Abike?


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Read about The Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST) Read about Human Trafficking + Modern Day Slavery in Focus #OpenComics how do graphic novels help tell untold stories? How do you contribute to modern day slavery? Did you know that there are an estimated 27 million people in slavery today? Read more here Where is Nigeria? BBC country profile Read ATEST's article about trafficking in Nigeria Learn about Nigeria's sex-trafficking gang, "Air Lords" Watch Al Jazeera's documentary on Nigerian girls trafficked into Europe Read the UN's statistics on Nigeria Who is affected by trafficking? Check out a global map Read the UN's Palermo Protocol, adopted to prevent, suppress and punich trafficking worldwide Beyond sex trafficking: Listen to an AP investigation on forced labor in the seasfood industry Watch the founder of Free the Slaves talk about how to combat modern day slavery Recognize the signs of human trafficking here Read Human Rights Watch 2015 Nigeria Report Human Trafficking is a multi-billion dollar global industry. Learn about San Diego's sex industry and hear from a survivor Explore Nigeria by map Read this report from the Journal of Politics and Law on violence against women in Nigeria ANY person under 18 involved in the commercial sex industry is a victim of human trafficking. Read more from the US Dept. of Homeland Security's Blue Campaign Do you know your basic human rights? Read the U.S. State Department's extensive 2015 Trafficking in Persons report Read up on some myths and misconceptions about human trafficking See the region, type, gender, and age breakdown of human trafficking according to the International Labor Organization Read the Stop the Traffik blog Read survivor Shandra's Story of How She Became Trafficked Read about Lagos' growing population and the challenges to come from a Nigerian writer Did you know that Lagos is the largest and most populated city in all of Africa? Learn more Traffickers often target vulnerable people with job promises. Read a victim's story of how he was trafficked from Bangladesh to Scotland Use this interactive map to explore the routes of human trafficking today What does trafficking look like in the EU? Read about the connection between the migration crisis and human trafficking Many victims are coerced, tricked, or persuaded into being trafficked from someone they know and trust. Learn more Learn about the ways in which technology is helping to fight human trafficking Read the UK's Human Trafficking Strategy Stop the Traffick statistics from the UK Watch a BBC Documentary on Human Trafficking Learn more about human trafficking warning signs at the airport Read about the global treaty, adopted by the International Labour Organization, to help protect forced labor victims worldwide What are the typical routes of human trafficking to the UK? What is Human Trafficking? Read some questions and answers Explore what modern day slavery entails Unseen UK is a UK-based charity that works to end human trafficking. Read some case studies here Read this interview with the Chair of the National Subcommittee on Combating Trafficking who argues that awareness and education are key to eradicating this evil Media have an important role in the framing of this important issue. Read about best practices Listen to a Survivor's testimony Who profits from human trafficking? Read the EU's report on the gender dimensions behind human trafficking Traffickers: who they are and how they operate "Modern-day slavery is the acquisition of people using force, deception, or coercion with the intent to exploit" Learn more from Not For Sale Read a Nigerian survivor's testimony How to Identitfy human trafficking Demand Reduction: an important force in stopping sex trafficking As many as 88% of trafficking victims have some contact with health care while they are being trafficked. Listen to this radio story to learn more Listen to a survivor's story about the connection between human smuggling and the commerical sex industry View a Poppy Project Video of a Survivor's Story Listen to a survivor's story who was trafficked from Albania throughout Europe Read the Human Trafficking Center's blog Sex trafficking and sporting events What does the UN Office on Drugs and Crime say about human trafficking? Read a survivor's story from The Guardian Learn more about the profts generated from this illegal industry here Human trafficking explained by BBC in 60 seconds Watch an animation about a woman who gets trafficked from Nigeria just like Abike Human Trafficking is often a product of transnational organized crime. Learn more in this UNODC report Watch one woman describe her experience Read up on the connection between legalising/decriminalising prostitution and sex trafficking A former trafficker reveals how he trafficked girls in the past. Now he's speaking out to protect other potential victims Read one woman's story on being trafficked from Romania to the UK Hear from Karla, a woman trafficked at the age of 12 ATEST: How do you spot trafficking? Watch human trafficking victims tell their story to the UN Learn about TraffickCam, an app created to combat sex trafficking "The problem with human trafficking is that of course the victims are silenced" Read more from The Atlantic Read one policewoman's fight against human trafficking in the US Watch Sunitha Krishnan talk about her fight against the sex trafficking industry in India Read more survivor stories from the Polaris Project Inspired by the lives of trafficking victims, this game mimicks their lived experiences Take a look at this interactive map from the Guardian, illustrating country-by-country trafficking law compliance One activist argues against the over-quantification often seen in combating human trafficking. Read her article Do you know the number of people trafficked and prosecuted in the UK? Watch The Other Side of the Coin, a short documentary about ending human trafficking in Brazil Read this book from the Global Alliance Against Trafic in Women about mis-steps within the anti-trafficking community itself Take a look at the numerous interactive trainings/resources provided by the NHTRC, National Human Trafficking Resource Center "Demand is half of the human trafficking equation" Read more Watch this Ted Talk about the human trafficking industry and how it's all around us LGBT and indigenious people are particularly vulnerable to trafficking. Learn more 5 Things You Didn't Know About Human Trafficking Learn about the Global Slavery Index Visit, a web source looking to empower through knowledge, for the latest news regarding human trafficking around the world What does UK law say about false IDs? Read this report on policy recommendations on the non-punishment of trafficking victims Learn more about fake passports and their connection to organised crime How much do you know about human trafficking now? Take this quiz to find out! The National Human Trafficking Resource Center created assessment cards to help identify victims. Download it here What is the crime of human trafficking? Read news coverage of UK recent decision to stop prosecuting women for petty crimes Often times victims of human traffcking are criminalized or disbelieved by law enforcement. Read 4 victims stories here Read more about victims being criminalized 15 ways you can help fight human trafficking Read the UK modern day slavery bill How does the UK government deal with survivors of human trafficking? Be a responsible consumer! Explore products of forced labor Choose a documentary to watch on human trafficking from this extensive list Learn about and download the STOP APP, using smartphones to "disrupt, combat, and prevent" human trafficking Surviving after being trafficked: Read a woman's experience from the US How can we prevent sex trafficking? Resources from Humanity United Find out how one organization in Cambodia is using business to help girls leave the sex industry Listen to UNICEF's podcast for Ending Human Trafficking Locally and Globally Watch and share this short video from Shared Hope about speaking out against sex trafficking Life after being trafficked read more Want to learn more? Check out this list of books on human trafficking Take Action! Start a UNICEF club at your college or high school Join the A21's Walk for Freedom on October 15, 2016! In 200 cities and 28 countries across the world Watch and SHARE this PSA to help raise awareness and stop human trafficking