Voodoo rites and trafficking of women from Nigeria in some court judgements


  • Luisa Ravagnini Pensa MultiMedia Editore
  • Carlo Alberto Romano




The phenomenon of trafficking in women from Nigeria for sexual exploitation has been a well-defined multidisciplinary field of scientific investigation for a long time, both within trafficking for sexual exploitation in general, and in the wider organization of human trafficking, due to the socio-cultural and ethnopsychiatric peculiarities that characterize it. However, if the heavily negative role of magical / religious practices within the trafficker-victim relationship emerged immediately, it had to wait a long time before it was considered within the Italian courtrooms as an element capable of define the essential outlines for the contestation of serious association crimes, according with the Italian penal code. This paper, after discussing the main characteristics of the trafficking of women from Nigeria and taking into consideration the fundamental aspects of the practice of voodoo, analyzes some judgments to underline how, in the last fifteen years, even jurisprudence has had to become permeable to ethnocultural content to ensure a better protection for victims of such a heinous crime.