The Journalist Fighting Sex Trafficking in IDP Camps

The Daily Beast Correspondent, Philip Obaji Jr., is known for reporting touching humanitarian stories, but he is also spearheading a tough fight against human trafficking in camps for displaced persons in northe


As the sunlight began to diminish in an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Madinatu, a town near Maiduguri, Philip Obaji Jr. arrived with the hope of speaking to victims of the Boko Haram insurgency about life in their temporary home. Virtually everyone interviewed by the journalist complained about the hardship in the camp, and looked forward to returning home. But Sarah, a 17-year-old girl once enslaved by Boko Haram militants who abducted her from Bama, had a different intention. She wanted to start a new life in Europe, and a trafficking ring stationed in Benin City—with agents operating in IDP camps in the northeast—had made plans to smuggle her to Italy through the Mediterranean.


Sarah eventually travelled to Benin City to meet the female leader of the ring who took her north to Niger with the hope reaching Italy from there.


“They told her they were going to get a job for her once she arrived in Italy,” Obaji said. “I knew it wasn’t true, and, so, I decided to find out who these people really are.”

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