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Issue № 78. February 2020

Anthropological and Cultural Background for the Formation of Human Trafficking Channels from Nigeria to Russia and the EU

Yulia A. Siluyanova

Postgraduate student, School of Public Administration, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation.

The international community has a clear understanding of human trafficking definition, but we still have only a partial understanding of this problem nature and origins. Researchers consider many economic and social factors as predictors of human trafficking trends. It is generally accepted that poverty and unemployment are the push factors that form the outgoing flows of human trafficking, and job opportunities are an important factor of attraction that determines the situation with incoming traffic in a particular country. However, looking at specific examples, we face the fact that the socio-economic model is not able to explain why among very similar countries one has a huge volume of traffic, and in other countries human trafficking flow is small. The explanation for this phenomenon lies beyond econometric models and roots in the cultural characteristics of communities. A good example to support this hypothesis is Nigeria. In terms of human trafficking this country is a leader among other African countries. We can see the growth of victims’ flow from Nigeria both in the EU and in Russia. Exploring the features of Nigerian trafficking, in this article we have come to the conclusion that cultural factors play a huge role in the formation of human trafficking tradition in Nigeria. The most important of those factors is the use of African religious practices to legitimize trafficking, control victims and ensure the stability of criminal networks.


Human trafficking, modern slavery, religion, voodoo, juju Edo, Africa, Nigeria, hidden migration, international crime, shadow economy, criminal economy, human rights, inequality.

DOI: 10.24411/2070-1381-2020-10038

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