Bonifica del Tronto, a ten-mile road in central Italy, appears ordinary at first glance, with factories and scattered houses lining its path. However, a shift has occurred in recent years, transforming the once-desolate road into a hub of activity.

Along this seemingly unassuming stretch, women stand on the roadside, their presence indicative of a thriving business hidden behind the bushes. Mattresses concealed among the foliage serve as makeshift spaces for immediate transactions with customers, revealing a stark reality beneath the surface.

A significant influx of Nigerian women populates Bonifica del Tronto, many of whom have been coerced into prostitution. Some arrived under false pretenses, lured by promises of lucrative employment or modeling opportunities, only to find themselves ensnared in a web of exploitation.

On The Road, an organization dedicated to aiding deceived girls migrating to Europe, sheds light on the plight of these women. Cultural mediators within the organization have encountered countless victims, each sharing a distressingly similar narrative. Their stories unveil a sinister pattern of manipulation, beginning with false promises and culminating in a cycle of exploitation and fear.

Central to this exploitation is the insidious practice of “juju,” where victims are coerced into silence through fear-inducing rituals performed by native doctors. Trapped by these oaths, escape becomes a perilous endeavor, with survivors fearing reprisal from their captors.

Forced into a life of prostitution to repay fabricated debts, these women endure years of enslavement under the guise of opportunity in Europe. Along the Adriatic coast, where Bonifica del Tronto lies, the road’s name ironically belies its grim reality as a haven for human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

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