African pregnant asylum seekers go missing

Dozens of pregnant women, mostly Nigerians, have disappeared from Dutch reception centers. There are serious concerns about the fate of the women and their babies.

The Expertise Centre EMM has an overview of at least 25 disappearances of pregnant West African women in November and December 2019. Most of the women and girls come from Nigeria, but pregnant women from Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda have also disappeared from Dutch reception centers. It is unknown where they go, where they give birth and what happens to the babies. The EMM explicitly states that it is “seriously concerned” about the fate of the women and the unborn and newborn babies. “It is not inconceivable that both the women and the newborn children are or will become victims of human traffickers, illegal adoption or voodoo rituals”.

Forced prostitution

Research by Argos shows that West African women also disappeared weekly in January 2020 from shelters throughout the Netherlands. In addition to pregnant women, these include unaccompanied minor asylum seekers and women with newborn babies. Employees of the Dutch Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) see signs of human trafficking.

This is a summary, read the full article published by Argos here  (in Dutch).

More publications on the disappearances of Nigerian asylum seekers can be found on the Lost in Europe website.

Do you want to support the journalists in their investigations? Do you have tips or evidence that can assist them in revealing more stories on human trafficking? You can reach them via this ‘tip’page.

Photo: ©Kate Stanworth, Lost in Europe