Brussels city authorities said they will name a new street after a Nigerian sex worker, Eunice Osayande, who was stabbed to death, as part of a massive campaign to recognize women in Brussels.
Osayande, 23, was brutally murdered by one of her customers in the Gare du Nord district in June 2018.
The city also aims to draw attention to victims of sexual violence after Eunice Osayande’s death in 2018.
The street that will immortalize her name will connect the Quai de Willebroeck and the Quai des Péniches, nearby the North Station, behind which Osayande was murdered.
Osayande came to the city in Belgium in 2016, after receiving promises of work and a brighter future in Europe.
She was made to believe that the men who invited her to the country were the owners of film and film production companies, and that they would make her a movie star, but in fact, they were human traffickers.
Osayande was informed upon her arrival that she owed her sponsors €45,000 for expenses incurred bringing her into the country and thereby forced into prostitution.
In the weeks leading up to her death, she had contacted a sex worker charity and told them she was experiencing violence and intimidation while working. She feared she couldn’t go to the police because she was an undocumented migrant.
Protests led by the migrant sex worker community in Brussels soon erupted. The marchers demanded better working conditions and called on local authorities to create clear legal guidelines for the sector.
Sex work is not illegal in Belgium but there are no national laws regulating it.
In January this year, four people involved in Osayande’s smuggling were sentenced to between 33 months and four years in prison.
Osayande’s killer, 17 at the time of crime, was arrested two weeks after her murder and is awaiting trial.