U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Niger
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||11 June 2003|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Niger, 11 June 2003, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d7d728.html [accessed 26 April 2015]|
Niger (Tier 2)
Niger is a source, transit, and destination country for trafficked persons. Workers from Benin, Togo, Nigeria, and Ghana are promised well-paying employment in Niger but often find themselves exploited in poorly paid domestic work or prostitution. Internal trafficking of children for labor occurs which often leads to indentured servitude or debt bondage. Child prostitution is on the rise. Some religious leaders exploit children sent to them for education by forcing them to beg in the streets. Niger is a transit country for women being trafficked from West Africa to Europe through North Africa, primarily by Nigerian traffickers. Some children from Niger are trafficked within West Africa for forced labor.
The Government of Niger does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. A survey of migration and trafficking patterns would help the country assess needs, and Niger should undertake additional efforts to reach rural populations, implement newly passed anti-trafficking legislation, and prosecute traffickers.
The President and Prime Minister discussed publicly the dangers of child trafficking. The government and international organizations conducted anti-trafficking information campaigns. The government's Child Protection and Survival of Children division publicizes the rights of children through seminars, workshops, broadcasts, and other media. The division also actively reaches out to at-risk children about the dangers of prostitution, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases. The government hosted a regional meeting of five countries that resulted in the introduction of an Authorization Certificate for children traveling with people other than their parents. The Ministry of Justice, Association of Traditional Chiefs, and an international organization have joined forces to prevent early marriages and forced child labor. The government identified poverty alleviation schemes as a critical component to providing alternatives to families who allow children to work in exploitative conditions and offers short and long-term training programs for girls and micro-credit loans to families as a means to address some of the root causes of trafficking. The government participates in an international program to end the worst forms of child labor and a regional plan of action to combat trafficking.
There is no anti-trafficking law in Niger, but the abduction, harboring, or concealment of others is a criminal offense. The proposed anti-trafficking law will carry a sentence of five to10 years. We have no information on trafficking arrests in 2002, but in 2001, a trafficker from Nigeria was arrested escorting eight women on their way to Italy. The government provides training to police and border officials on trafficking.
The government supports the efforts of NGOs, primarily through in-kind support, to improve the living conditions of girls who are sexually exploited and is working with an international organization to assist street children and other children working in the gold mines. This includes providing education, medical care, support groups, and other activities for child prostitutes. The government has a witness protection program.