"It is a matter of 'try your luck'," said Phil Inusa of the Girls' Power Initiative in Benin, capital of Edo State in southern Nigeria. "The girls say 'That is those girls' destiny. My own luck in life is different.'"
More than nine in 10 Nigerian women smuggled to Europe come from Edo, a predominantly Christian state of 3 million people, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC). A history of migration to Italy has fuelled local hopes of easy money abroad. About 600,000 migrants, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, have made it to Italy since 2014, the main arrival point in Europe for people fleeing conflict, persecution and poverty in Africa.