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Last month, Nigeria’s anti-trafficking agency made a startling announcement: It had collected evidence that some 20,000 Nigerian women and girls are being held in brothels in Mali. Among those discovered were schoolgirls who had been kidnapped and forced into prostitution, reminiscent of the 2014 abduction of 300 Nigerian schoolgirls by Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which prompted the global #BringBackOurGirls campaign.
Today, tens of thousands of women and girls — most between the ages of 16 and 30 — are still awaiting international condemnation of their plight, as well as efforts by the Nigerian government to finally bring them home.