Helen Hecker | Fear & Faith: Women of Benin City
Portfolio and Working Description of Helen Hecker
helen hecker, redaktion, photography, fotografie, pr, communications, pressearbeit, redakteurin, editor, press, portfolio, translation
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Projects & Documentary
About This Project

Fear & Faith: Women of Benin City
Feature work for profil Magazine (Austria)
Palermo / Sep – Nov 2017



The photographs accompanied the association „Donne di Benin City“ in Palermo/Sicily and document the daily fight against human trafficking and the prostitution of young Nigerian girls in Italy. Over 11.000 Nigerian girls reached Italy only in 2016. About 80% of these girls became victims of human trafficking controlled by criminal organizations from Nigeria. A lot of them arrive from Benin City, the capital of the region Edo State. They often sell their bodies for only 5 or 10 Euro and a lot of them are under 18. Osas, the president of the association, founded „Donne di Benin City“ with other Nigerian women, all victims of human trafficking who stepped out of prostitution. They opened a drop-in center in Palermo and support victims with juridical and psychological help. Voodoo rituals, violence and sexual abuse leave Italian institutions, psychiatrist and educators in public houses often helpless. The „Women of Benin City“ convince the girls to stay away from their „Madam“, they speak one language, know the pain and strength the girls with faith and hope.