Complex roles of families in enabling sex trafficking in Edo, Nigeria

Prince Agwu (Lead / Corresponding author), Susan Levy, Uzoma Odera Okoye

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Families are an expected haven for their members but can present threats in some contexts. Part of a large-scale PhD study with 101 participants, empirical findings on the roles played by families in encouraging sex trafficking in Edo, Nigeria, are presented here. Using in-depth interviews and group discussions, data were elicited from actors within trafficking in persons. Core findings included the exploitation of roles and responsibilities in families towards enabling sex trafficking, the abuse of shared meanings of family in communities and the exploitation of vulnerable families. Vulnerable families were identified as lacking fathers or those whose parents were older adults and/ or uneducated. Thus, poor women in such families were at greater risk of being trafficked. For a conceptual understanding of these family roles in sex trafficking, we employed structure–agency insights. In all, anti-sex trafficking interventions must begin with families as the smallest unit of interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalFamilies, Relationships and Societies
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2023


  • human trafficking
  • irregular migration
  • Key words Edo
  • sex trafficking
  • trafficking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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