A systematic review of drivers and interventions against sex work migration in Edo State, Nigeria

Prince Agwu, Uzoma Okoye, Prince Ekoh, Ngozi Chukwu, Chinyere Onalu, Ijeoma Igwe, Paul Onuh, Gift Amadi, George Nche

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)



Sex work migration involves a huge number of females from Nigeria, and has attracted concerns within and across the country. To add to ongoing conversations about responsible migration, our review underscores the prevalence of sex work migration in Edo State, Nigeria, the drivers and interventions. 


The review adopted exhaustive search terms coined with the aid of “Boolean Operators”. Search terms were entered into several search engines and databases to elicit peer-reviewed and grey literature within sex work migration and human trafficking for commercial sex. An output of 578 studies was recorded with 76 (43 academic papers and 33 grey literature) meeting the inclusion criteria. 


The study acknowledged wide-spread prevalence of sex work migration involving Nigerian females who are largely from Edo State. It achieved a prioritization of the factors that drive sex work migration based on how frequent they were mentioned in reviewed literature: economic (64.4%), cultural (46%), educational (20%), globalization (14.5%) and political factors (13.2%). Several interventions were highlighted together with their several limitations which include funding, absence of grass-roots engagement, dearth of appropriate professionals, corruption, weak political will, among others. A combination of domestic and international interventions was encouraged, and social workers were found to be needful.


Our systematic review is the first on this subject, as none was found throughout our search. It seeks to inform policy measures and programmes, as well as horizontal efforts poised to tackle the rising figures of sex work migrants and attendant consequences in Nigeria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-764
Number of pages32
JournalInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2020


  • Edo State
  • Migration
  • Prostitution
  • Sex work
  • Sex work migration
  • Social work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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