Last Updated: Thursday, 17 April 2014, 13:11 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Nigeria

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 3 June 2005
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Nigeria, 3 June 2005, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d85a1c.html [accessed 17 April 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Nigeria (Tier 2)

Nigeria is a source, transit and destination country for trafficked women and children. Nigerians are trafficked to Europe, the Middle East and other countries in Africa for the purpose of sexual exploitation, forced labor, and involuntary domestic servitude. Nigerian girls and women are trafficked for sexual exploitation to Europe – particularly Italy, Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands – and other African countries. Children from Nigeria's southern and eastern states are trafficked to Nigerian cities and other West African countries for exploitation as domestic servants, street hawkers, and forced laborers. Children from Togo and Benin are trafficked to Nigeria for forced labor.

The Government of Nigeria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government showed clear progress in implementing its 2003 anti-trafficking law and improving the capacity of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP). The government should undertake greater efforts to ensure that child victims of labor trafficking are identified and provided protection. It should also consider better coordination among and consolidation of the country's disparate anti-trafficking investigative and prosecutorial resources.

Prosecution

The government made strong strides in improving its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the reporting period. Comprehensive anti-trafficking law enforcement statistics were not available. NAPTIP investigated more than 40 cases of suspected trafficking, leading to eight new prosecutions. In November 2004 a court handed down the first conviction under the 2003 anti-trafficking law, sentencing a female trafficker to three years' imprisonment for attempting to traffic six girls to Spain. The police anti-trafficking unit expanded its coverage to 11 state offices, rescued 35 victims of trafficking, opened 27 investigations, and arrested 40 suspected traffickers. The government provided over $1 million in funding for NAPTIP in 2004, allowing it to hire needed staff; expand cooperation with other countries, including Benin, Niger, Saudi Arabia, Italy, and the United Kingdom; and train its own dedicated prosecutors. Trafficking-related corruption is a serious obstacle to Nigerian anti-trafficking efforts. Although NAPTIP began investigating a number of law enforcement officials suspected of trafficking complicity over the last year, no prosecutions were initiated.

Protection

The government's efforts to provide protection for victims of trafficking remained weak in 2004, though some progress was made through the opening of a transit shelter in Lagos and a small shelter in Benin City, Edo State. In other locations, NAPTIP provided emergency overnight shelter for victims, but usually referred victims requiring longer-term care to NGOs and international organizations. Police and NAPTIP encouraged victims to assist in prosecutions; the government published a brochure outlining the steps a victim can take to help in prosecutions that was distributed to Nigerian victims deported from Europe. A system of screening and referral of victims was established among the various Nigerian law enforcement agencies, and victims are now referred to NAPTIP, NGOs or international organizations for care. The government provided modest funding for NGOs involved in protecting victims.

Prevention

The government's anti-trafficking prevention efforts continued over the year. NAPTIP conducted "sensitization tours" around the country, reaching out to state governments, local law enforcement, market organizations, and youth groups to raise awareness of the dangers of trafficking. NAPTIP created a website to provide information to Nigeria's considerable Internet-savvy public and opened a hotline for victims of trafficking and those seeking information on trafficking. State governments' departments of youth and women's affairs conducted programs to raise awareness and prevent those at risk from falling prey to traffickers. For example, the Department of Youth in Cross River State organized youth camps around major holidays, which are prime times when traffickers target victims. NAPTIP and the Special Assistant to the President on Human Trafficking and Child Labor presided over the National Stakeholders Forum, which brought together government agencies and NGOs to share information and coordinate anti-trafficking efforts.

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