Chioma Daisy Onyige (Port Harcourt, Nigeria/Bonn): Globalisation, Poverty, and the Shadow Economy of Human Trafficking in Nigeria


In her lecture, Dr. Onyige will give insight into her research project at the center which examines the effects of economic globalisation in a poverty-ridden country such as Nigeria, and in particular how it encourages and fuels a modern day slavery. Specifically, the talk will highlight the relationship between economic globalisation, poverty, and the rise of shadow economies in the form of human trafficking. Shadow economies are a complex phenomenon that can be found in many developing countries such as Nigeria. Human trafficking since it is an economic activity that includes conscious efforts to avoid official detection, can be categorized as a shadow economy. While economic globalisation fostered a series of worldwide exchanges in labour, trade, technology, and capital between countries, which increased international migration and human trafficking, economic liberalisation policies caused great social inequality, allowing the accumulation of much capital by a few. Since the high indebtedness of the countries of origin, together with high inflation rates caused a drop in real income some try to migrate to find a better luck in other countries. The possibility of easier border crossing further enhances this effect. Therefore, migrational flows are basically the consequences of economic imbalance. People trafficking can so be seen as part of a much larger pattern of migration and social change.

The presentation seeks to provide answers to the following questions: To what extent does a free market of goods and services encourage shadow economies such as human trafficking? Does the local, national and global law regulate the shadow economic sphere of Nigeria in respect to human trafficking? And what is the role of the legal and cultural systems in promoting or undermining the shadow economy activities such as human trafficking in Nigeria?

Curriculum Vitae 

Dr. Chioma Daisy Onyige is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Sociology at the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, where she earned her Ph.D in sociology with specialization in criminology, police science, and social work in 2007. Dr. Onyige was a recipient of the Global South Scholar Fellowship from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva as well as a Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Munich. In addition, she was a Fellow of the African Science Leadership Programme, University of Pretoria, South Africa, and a Commonwealth Fellow at the African Studies Center, University of Oxford, UK. Furthermore, Chioma Onyige has been a member of various international expert groups and organizations. For example, she was a board member of the International Consortium for Environmental History Organization (ICEHO) as well as an associate member of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD). Dr. Onyige is also a member of the editorial board of the “Feminist Criminology Journal, A journal of the Division of Women and Crime (DWC)”.

Her research interests include crime and gender issues, climate change as well as economic globalisation and human trafficking, especially in Nigeria.

Since October 2019, Dr. Chioma Daisy Onyige has been a Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Center “Law as Culture”.