Each year tens of thousands of people from west Africa move to Europe in search of a better life, but the reality for many is far different.
They’re trafficked by gangs promising good jobs, but end up forced into prostitution and caught up in crimes such as drug trafficking.
Juliana Ruhfus reports from Castel Volturno in southern Italy… a town that looks far different to the Italy we’re used to seeing.
Clashes between the local mafia and the newer Nigerian mafia have led to violent confrontations and murders.
And areas of once picturesque holiday homes are now impoverished dangerous neighbourhoods, inhabited by people who can’t get any official papers or work.
There now seems virtually no way out for those who came to Italy with such high hopes.
WATCH - Apologies, but Juliana’s investigation is no longer available to watch for copyright reasons. You can though still see the original version of the story on Al Jazeera's website.
On air: 4th September 2012