But what about the girls who actually make it to Europe?
In a report by Milena Veselinovic and Isa Soares for CNN, we meet Anna (not real name), a 17-year-old girl from Edo State who was trafficked at the age of 15.
Anna, an orphan, was raised by a foster family, she said, and worked as a maid but dreamed of one day becoming a doctor.
Her boss’s daughter who was living in Europe would regale her with stories of abroad. Anna said:
She told me, when you come to Europe you’ll have opportunity, you will go to school, everything is going to be OK for you.
She said you can do whatever you want, the world there is very free. I was like, wow, that would be great. And she said, OK, maybe my sister can bring you. I was so happy, I wanted to go to Europe.
Things, however, didn’t go as smoothly as Anna imagined they would.
Arriving in Libya through Niger, she was held in a detention camp for 5 months, she said, where she was reportedly beaten and raped.
After her trafficker paid her ransom, Anna discovered she was pregnant. She however lost the baby after her smuggler gave her a liquid to drink. She said:
I don’t even know how it happened. All I know is I was given a bottle of water and then I started bleeding. I was in a lot of pain. It was so painful.
When she finally arrived in Italy, she discovered she now owed her traffickers €35,000, and was made to become a sex worker, bringing in €200 daily. She said:
They dressed me up, they make my hair, they make me up. I didn’t even know what they were doing. They gave me a bag with condoms.
If a man sleeps with you the most he can pay is €30. Calculate how many men you have to sleep with to get that. You pay, pay, pay, and it never gets finished.
Eventually, and luckily, Anna escaped, and is now being looked after by Progetto Integrazione Accoglienza Migranti (PIAM) – a migrant rights charity run by a Nigerian trafficking survivor, Princess Inyang Okokon.
Anna now knows better, and has words for people who wish to take the same leap as she did. She said:
I would not advise anybody to take the same journey I took. Because I might have survived it, you may not survive it.
Read the full story on CNN.