Voices and Images of Migration, Exploitation, Reintegration and Emancipation in Nigeria (VIOMEREN)


Voices and Images of Migration, Exploitation, Reintegration and Emancipation in Nigeria (VIOMEREN) is a research project investigating and documenting the lived experiences of returnee migrants in Nigeria through art-based methods.

VIOMEREN attempts to problematize the narrow focus on rescue from physical and sexual compulsion. It does so by linking the specific phase of human trafficking during transit to socio-cultural and economic compulsions encountered during pre-migration and reintegration phases and seeks to articulate the voices and perspectives of returnee migrants in relation to accountability and financial transparency in policy interventions of which they are beneficiaries.

VIOMEREN aims to facilitate the initiation and development of the Nigerian Literary and Arts Antislavery Collective (NLAAC), the first antislavery group of its kind in Nigeria. The goal of NLAAC is to bring together returnee migrants who have been victims of human trafficking with literary and art practitioners, students, teachers and researchers to record the memory, narratives and lived experiences of victims of modern slavery and articulate their voices using innovative and community-based methods.


  1. To document the lived experiences and voices of returnee migrants using art-based methods to facilitate change towards a sustainable reintegration process.

  2. To create awareness of modern-day slavery; human trafficking and the interrelationship between economic, social-cultural and physical compulsion in migration.

  3. To influence change through influencing policies, good practices and social action.


Dr Chibuzo Ejiogu is the principal Investigator for Viomeren and has researched and published in migration and refugee studies and on accountability and transparency in Nigeria. His conference paper on migrant worker networks in the UK using participatory action research won the CERIC 2016 Doctoral Conference (Best PhD Paper), Leeds, UK. He uses art-based methods and has presented a paper on diaspora migrant workers and development incorporating his spoken word poetry performance using the African mbira musical instrument at CURAS 2018, Coventry. His written poetry focuses on social change themes. He will be responsible for the design, project management, monitoring and evaluation of the project. He will also support the data collection, analysis and collaborative workshops to co-produce creative projects.

Prof Ayobami Ojebode, is a Co-Investigator and has researched and published on sustainable development, development communication, language arts, migration and human trafficking. He has been visiting scholar/research fellow at universities in the UK, USA and Netherlands and has been principal and co-investigator on research grants including grants by the University of Oxford, Centre for Research in Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity. He has consulted for a range of policy institutions including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). He will be responsible for facilitating the initiation and development of NLAAC and the data collection and analysis. He will also support the collaborative workshops, interactive fora and project monitoring and evaluation.

Dr Amanze Ejiogu is a Co-Investigator and has researched and published on social and environmental accounting and policy in the UK and Nigeria. He is currently researching social stigma, refugees and human trafficking in Nigeria, social accountability and compulsion in migration, and financial transparency in migration and human trafficking support services. He will be responsible for designing the data collection instruments, and analysis of data relating to social accountability, financial transparency and social stigma. He will also support data collection, other aspects of data analysis, project monitoring and evaluations.

Ngunan Ioron Aloho, Esq is a Co-Investigator who has worked on and reported on cases of child marriage and gender marginalization in rural communities. She is a trained and qualified legal practitioner with a focus on human and gender rights and has worked with Nigerian NGOs in a range of roles. She is currently the Executive Director of the Samuel Ioron Foundation, Nigeria (project partner). She has used art-based methods through the Foundation’s work in campaigns against child marriages as a form of modern slavery including the publication of an art-based illustration book and short film adaptation. She will be responsible for organising the collaborative workshops, interactive fora and mediating access to returnee migrants. She will also support project design, project management, data collection, analysis, monitoring and evaluation.

Ver Ikeseh is a Participant – Artist Facilitator. He is a freelance artist in Nigeria who has collaborated with the Samuel Ioron Foundation on art-based projects highlighting issues of gender, development and modern slavery. He has an M.A. in African Studies (Research) from Leiden University, Netherlands and has a B.A in Fine Arts. He has participated in several art exhibitions and won awards for his work. He is currently working on a participatory community mural project (Colouring Slums). He will be responsible for coordinating the co-production and exhibition of creative projects and art murals. He will support the NLAAC, data collection, analysis, interactive fora, monitoring and evaluation.