Belgium Government Raises Concerns about Forced Prostitution Involving Nigerians | #NwokeukwuMascot
The Belgian government has expressed deep concern over the increasing number of Nigerians involved in forced prostitution within its borders. It has been revealed that many Nigerians who traveled to Belgium in search of better opportunities have unfortunately fallen victim to traffickers and have been coerced into forced prostitution.
During a press conference in Abuja, Mr. Freddy Roosemont, the Director-General of the Belgian Office for Foreigners, disclosed that most Nigerians were lured to Belgium with false promises of job placements. However, upon arrival, they found themselves trapped in a web of exploitation and forced into prostitution against their will.
Roosemont emphasized that the European dream often portrayed to Nigerians is far from reality. Surviving in Europe without a decent job is challenging, and the notion of Belgium being a land of milk and honey is nothing but an illusion. He further highlighted the current global economic crisis and various conflict zones as factors that have worsened the situation.
He said: “The dream is not real; it’s not easy to survive in Europe without a decent job. The dream is fake.
“Belgium is not the land of milk and honey, nor is Europe. This was not the case before, but is even less so now, in a world with many crisis hotspots with severe economic consequences.”
The Director-General expressed his concern about the growing number of Nigerians seeking asylum in Belgium, urging them to reconsider this path. He explained that asylum is granted based on the provisions of the Geneva Convention, and economic motives are not considered valid grounds. Consequently, the recognition rate for asylum is very low, and the chances of obtaining a residence permit are almost non-existent.
In his words, He said that “Asylum is determined on the basis of the Geneva Convention and economic motives are not included. Therefore the recognition rate for asylum is very low and the chances of obtaining a residence permit are almost non-existent.”
Roosemont revealed that in 2022, 362 Nigerian migrants sought asylum in Belgium, while 380 applied in 2023. However, only a few of them were successful in their applications. As a result, these individuals are forced to live in precarious conditions without legal status and social support. They become vulnerable to economic exploitation, and women are particularly at risk of being forced into prostitution.
According to him, “As a consequence, people are forced to live in irregular stay, without a social safety net, in precarious conditions. They risk economic exploitation and women risk ending up in prostitution.”
In light of these alarming circumstances, Roosemont urged Nigerians to be cautious and resist the deceptive tactics of those promoting illegal migration to Europe. He advised individuals to prioritize opportunities that involve admission to a university, job offers from reputable Belgian companies, or invitations from family members who are legally residing in Belgium.
The Belgian government is committed to addressing the issue of forced prostitution and ensuring the safety and well-being of all individuals within its borders. It encourages collaboration with Nigerian authorities to tackle the root causes of this problem and provide support to victims.