Nigeria is the largest producer of irregular migrants in sub-Saharan Africa, enabled by smuggling and human trafficking networks. Edo State, in the sprawling poverty-ravaged South-South region of Nigeria, is the epicentre of this mass exodus for ‘greener pasture’ and better life.

Over decades, Edo-based human trafficking networks have expanded across the globe, led by a cadre of self-made kingpins, madams, recruiters, fixers, facilitators and financiers that have become skilled specialists in their field.

Despite the local and international attempts to shut these networks down, they have remained resilient, trading off socio-economic inequalities to sustain themselves and shape their own narrative.

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