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First intellectual output. Loyola Andalucia University

First intellectual output. Loyola Andalucia University


Federal Republic of Nigeria
The Federal Republic of Nigeria is located in the western Africa, bounded by the Niger to the north, east of Chad and Cameroon, and on the south by the Gulf of Guinea and on the west from Benin. The surface covers 923.768 km² with a population of 186 million inhabitants.
The capital is Abuja, while Lagos (former capital) continues to be the most important city in the country, from an industrial and commercial point of view.
In Nigeria there are two climatic zones: along the coast the climate is characterized by strong humidity and persistent rains; in the north, there are dry winds, laden of sand; the temperature and rainfall vary considerably depending on the season. The vegetation differs according to the climatic regions. The south, particularly rich in water, is partially covered by dense tropical forests of broad-leaved trees, while in the regions of the plateau and savannah forests give way to the grasslands.
Nigeria is a federation of 36 States. Although it is one of the most extensive African countries and by far the one with the largest population, the urbanization rate is 48%. With more than 250 ethnic groups, Nigeria is a complex linguistic, social and cultural mosaic. The official language is English, although it is estimated that more than 100 languages are spoken, including: Yoruba, Igbo, Fula, Hausa, Edo, Ibibio, Tiv. Hausa is the most widely used, especially in the North. From the religious point of view, the population is almost completely divided between Christians and Muslims.  
Traditionally, Nigeria is an agricultural country; agriculture, remains a pure subsistence activity, still focused on small family-run farms. In the northern regions mainly rice, peanuts, cotton and millet are grown and cattle are bred, while the south mainly produces corn, sweet potatoes, oil palms and cocoa. The breeding of sheep and goats is widespread throughout the territory. Located in various regions of the country there are small family-run businesses, whose activity is mainly based on the craftsmanship of ceramics, wood, fabrics, leathers, building materials. Equipped with numerous seaports, Nigeria has also two international airports. The official currency is the naira.

Political and social instability
Probably, the over centralization of the federal system represents the most important source of ethnic minority distress and disaffection in the Nigerian federal system today, although a further source of discontent among minorities involves the internal territorial configuration of the Federation.
From a theoretical and political point of view, in multi ethnic federations, constituent units are generally identified on the basis of ethnolinguistic identities in order to enable each cultural group to enjoy and exercise some degree of local autonomy within its territorial space. At this regard, what happened in Nigeria, did not take into account the needs of the numerous ethnic minorities during the process addressed to the identification of boundaries. As a consequence, the pre-1967 units were mainly arbitrary and artificial units which simply secured the hegemony of the three major nationalities over the minority sections. A situation that was confirmed also with the creation of the State in 1967. Although the 1967 state-creation exercise was largely designed to promote a more equitable accommodation of minority groups within the federal structure, subsequent reorganization exercises have been guided largely by the need to give satisfaction to distributive pressures emanating mainly from the majority communities. In the process, the homogeneous majority nationalities have been subdivided into several federally-funded states, while many of the minority communities ”have been corralled into unitary.... multi ethnic states” (Saro-Wiwa, 1992:37). Not surprisingly, many of the ethnic minority states (and even localities) have become veritable theatres of inter-ethnic and communal conflagrations and explosion[1].

The reasons why people escapes from Nigeria
The political life of Nigeria since its independence, reached in 1960, has been characterized by the rivalry between the Muslim and traditional north, and the most westernized south. Today, the humanitarian and protection situation in Nigeria as well as in the border areas of Cameroon, Chad and Niger is dire. Boko Haram insurgents continued to commit grave human rights violations and carry out attacks against civilians. The country is in fact lacerated by the fury of the jihadists of Boko Haram, a Nigerian fundamentalist group that since 2006 spreads terror throughout the country. The violence has uprooted around 2.3 million civilians within their own countries, including over 1.8 million IDPs in Nigeria alone. In addition, some 200,000 Nigerian refugees have fled to neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger. The persistent threat of Boko Haram attacks on civilian sites – including the targeting of camps – remains a serious security and humanitarian protection risk. The crisis has adversely affected the most vulnerable civilian populations, particularly women and children, older persons and those with disabilities or serious medical conditions. Around 60 per cent of those displaced are children and the number of female and child-headed households is on the rise because male heads of households have either been disappeared, killed or fear to return to join their families. Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is widespread, and many people have suffered the trauma of violent experiences. Women, girls and boys remain the most vulnerable to SGBV and the most targeted by insurgents, with abductions, forced marriage, sexual slavery, use as suicide bombers and forced conscription[2] .
Almost 1,400 schools have been destroyed in Borno during the armed group's eight-year rebellion, and more than 57% of schools are unable to open because of damage or being in areas that remain unsafe. An estimated three million children are now in need of emergency education support. Nearly 100 children have also been used as "human bombs". Rights activists say women and children have suffered the most as a result of the violence. The UN estimates that 20,000 people have been killed and at least 1.7 million displaced since Boko Haram launched its armed campaign in northeast Nigeria eight years ago[3]. In April 2014, the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls by the armed group in Chibok in northeastern Nigeria sparked global outrage[4].
Finally, it is important to point out the significant and worrying increase in adolescent victims of trafficking. IOM considers that many young Nigerians, although declaring themselves adults, are actually children or adolescents who comply with traffickers’ instructions by falsely declaring themselves older so to avoid the child protection pathway, which might become an obstacle for traffickers. As a result, girls are transferred to adult facilities, where it will be easier to contact their traffickers who will pick them up without any difficulties. A process that will be after handled by the widely known “Madame”, that is: a noun that, in the context of human trafficking, identifies the trafficker who handles the victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation, to whom the debt incurred prior to leaving their country must be re-paid. It is often the victim of trafficking herself who, after repaying her debt, may have decided to earn from the same process which victimized her in the first place. This sad outcome stems from the traffickers tactics of “co-opting”.
IOM estimates that about 80 per cent of Nigerian women and girls arriving by sea in 2016 are likely to be victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation in Italy or in other countries of the European Union[5]

Asylum countries
According to the last UNHCR data (July, 2017)[6], the majority of Nigerian refugees ask for the asylum in three neighbouring African countries, in detail: Chad (4,4%), Cameroon (43,5%) and Niger (52,1%).  
Moreover, as for Europe (28 member States), Nigerian asylum seekers were 47.775 in 2016. Out of 47.775, 27.105 asked asylum in Italy (28% of which are female).  IOM Italy has seen an almost 600 per cent increase in the number of potential sex trafficking victims arriving in Italy by sea. This upward trend has continued during the first six months of 2017, with most victims arriving from Nigeria[7].
In 2016, according to official UNHCR data, the total number of asylum applications made worldwide by Nigerian citizens amounted to 59.950. Of these, 27.088, equal to 43%, applied in Italy, followed by Germany (12916 equal to 12%).  


Download this file (report-nigeria.pdf)Report (pdf)[Italian language]


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