Women on the move: trafficked asylum seekers, between structural inequalities and induced vulnerabilities


  • Martina Facincani University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy




Immigration laws represent a barrier for migrants from the Global South. This barrier fuels the range of strategies used by migrants to enter Europe as their only option to cross the border. Some of these strategies, such as using the services of traffickers and facilitators, may include experiences of exploitation, racism and violence. Referring to the "case" of Nigerian women asylum seekers, many of whom are identified as potential victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation, this paper aims to reflect on the role that restrictive migration policies and gender-blind reception systems play in exposing migrants to further specific conditions of vulnerability and discrimination. In particular, we will focus on the invisibilisation that this specific subgroup of the asylum-seeking population has undergone with the changes introduced by Legislative Decree 113/2018 (the so-called Salvini Decree). In this process of invisibilisation, stereotypes and simplified representations play a central role, both in the construction of the migrant woman as an absolute victim and in feeding the distinctions at the origin of the different categories of migrant women.

Keywords: migration, Nigeria, Salvini decree, stereotypes/vulnerability, gender-based violence.


2021-12-12 — Updated on 2021-12-13