Sheltered Lives: Sex, God, and Mobility in Nigeria's Counter-Trafficking Programs


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




While internationally lauded as a model for other African states, most of the women in Nigeria’s counter-trafficking programs do not identify as victims and actively resist their detention in rehabilitation shelters across the country. Based on twelve months of ethnographic research at one such shelter, this dissertation considers what is at stake in these unwanted interventions, particularly in the mundane routines, programs, and idle bickering of the rehabilitation process. Ultimately, it argues that shelter debates over the risks of migrating and the purposes of state intervention reveal novel forms of migration management, African citizenship, and postcolonial governance, especially when viewed in the context of the Nigerian government’s broader efforts to improve its image around the world.