The Bodies of 26 Nigerian Girls Have Been Recovered From Migrant Boats
Italian authorities are investigating the deaths, as they suspect the girls have been sexually abused and murdered.
The bodies of 26 Nigerian women—most of whom were teenagers—have been recovered in the Mediterranean, BBC reports. Most of them were between the ages of 14 and 18.
Twenty-three of the women were on a rubber boat with 64 other people.
A Spanish warship docked in the port of Salerno in southern Italy. It carried 375 migrants and the dead women following several rescues.
Italian prosecutors are investigating the deaths, as they are suspicious that the women and girls may have been sexually abused and murdered as they attempted to migrate across the Mediterranean.
Five migrants are currently being questioned at the port.
According to Italian media, most of the survivors brought to Salerno are from Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, The Gambia, Libya and Sudan. Ninety women, eight of whom are pregnant, and 52 children are among them.
Over 11,000 Nigerian women were rescued in the Mediterranean last year, and countless of them risk being sex trafficked or forced into labor during their journey to Europe. This essay from The New Yorker tells the story of a Nigerian woman who survived.