In a ‘Country Focus’ report, EASO aims to provide information focusing on ‘selected topics’ of particular relevance for international protection status determination (Refugee Status and Subsidiary Protection) for Nigerian applicants. It is not meant to be a general description of the human rights situation in the country, nor a comprehensive overview of all topics at stake in international protection status determination.
The terms of reference (ToR) were based on a list of information needs provided by Italian asylum authorities, a systematic review of queries from Italian territorial commissions and courts processing applications for international protection from Nigerian applicants in 2016 and early 2017, as well as input from the EASO network of COI researchers on West-Africa. ToR were finalised during a meeting with the drafters and can be found in Annex II to this report.
The above-mentioned input suggests that a majority of Nigerian applicants for international protection originate from the southern part of the country, and a large part of them from Edo state. Edo is a relatively small state representing a similarly small fraction of the Nigerian population (4). In her thesis on women from Edo migrating to Europe to work in prostitution, researcher Sine Plambech points out that the development of Benin City as a hub for migration to Europe is probably an important reason why people from Edo are so numerous among migrants to Europe – they have close access to a whole migration facilitation infrastructure. In the case of women, this includes a possibility to migrate without financing the trip to Europe themselves, providing they are willing to work in prostitution in Europe for years to repay the expenses paid by their ‘sponsors’ (5).
Therefore, information related to the most relevant geographical parts of Nigeria, the south and in particular Edo State, is given particular attention in this country focus report.