U.S. Department of State 2004 Trafficking in Persons Report - Niger
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||14 June 2004|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2004 Trafficking in Persons Report - Niger, 14 June 2004, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d7f5c.html [accessed 29 March 2015]|
Niger (Tier 2)
Niger is a source and transit country for men, women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and domestic and commercial labor. Niger is a transit country for persons trafficked between Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Mali; final destinations also include North African and European countries. Nigerien girls are internally trafficked for involuntary domestic servitude and sexual exploitation. Young Nigerien boys are indentured to Koranic teachers, and vestiges of traditional slavery reportedly exist in parts of the country.
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. The government needs to prosecute trafficking crimes and take steps to provide for the protection of victims.
Due to severe resource constraints, Niger's ability to punish traffickers was weak in 2003. There is no law specifically outlawing trafficking, but a 2003 revision of the penal code criminalizes slavery, for which a conviction carries a 10 to 30-year prison sentence. No prosecutions occurred during the year, but Niger's Judicial Police arrested two Nigerians attempting to transit 14 males and 14 females from Nigeria to Mali. These individuals were released to the Government of Nigeria for prosecution. Anti-trafficking training was conducted for police and border officials who cooperate with Interpol.
The government does not offer any services for victims but it operates a general witness protection program that trafficking victims could potentially take advantage of. In addition, it supports the efforts of two NGOs that assist victims of trafficking.
In 2003, the Ministry of Justice created a National Commission for the Coordination of the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons, and an action plan is slated for approval in mid-2004. The government has sponsored anti-trafficking information and education programs, including an ILO-IPEC campaign that involved outreach to traditional chiefs. In addition, Niger has signed the anti-trafficking declaration issued by ECOWAS.