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Nigeria has highest number of people in forced prostitution in Belgium - Envoy

Belgium said most Nigerians were deceived into the European country with the promise of job placements.

Director-General, office of Foreigners, Belgium, Freddy-Roosemont

Freddy Roosemont, the Director-General of the Belgian Office for Foreigners, made this known while addressing a press conference in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, on Friday, February 2, 2024.

The Belgian envoy said many Nigerians were lured into his country with a promise of job placements. However, most of them are being forced into prostitution by traffickers once they arrive.

“The dream is not real, it’s not easy to survive in Europe without a decent job. The dream is fake.

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“Belgium is not 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,” Roosemont disclosed.

According to him, more Nigerians are currently seeking asylum in the European country, a development he said made little sense considering their chances of succeeding, which he described as almost non-existent.

“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,” he stated.

The Belgian official said no fewer than 362 Nigerian migrants filed for asylum in his country in 2022, while the number jumped up to 380 in the following year, noting that only a few of them were successful with their applications.

“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,” he said.

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Roosemont appealed to Nigerians to ignore those trying to deceive them into embarking on a journey to Europe without a university admission, a job offer from a Belgian company or an invitation from a family member to relocate.

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