U.S. Department of State 2001 Trafficking in Persons Report - Nigeria

Nigeria (Tier 2)

Nigeria is a source, transit, and destination country for trafficked persons. The majority of trafficking from Nigeria involves females destined for Europe; Italian authorities estimate that 10,000 Nigerian prostitutes work in Italy, many of them the victims of traffickers. Nigerians, primarily women and children, also are trafficked to work on plantations in other African countries, including Gabon, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Benin. Other significant destination countries for trafficked Nigerians include the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Spain, France, and countries in the Middle East. Nigeria also serves as a transit hub for trafficking in West Africa and to a lesser extent, a destination point for young children from nearby West African countries. There is also evidence of trafficking of children and women within Nigeria.

The Government of Nigeria does not yet fully meet the minimum standards; however, the Government is making significant efforts to combat trafficking despite a lack of resources and widespread corruption among law enforcement officials. There is no federal statute that prohibits trafficking in persons. Under the criminal code, penalties for trafficking of children include fines and imprisonment from 2 to 7 years. The penal code provides for a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for anyone convicted of encouraging the prostitution of women or children. The Government is revising the Criminal and Penal Code as well as State Laws. In 1999 the Government funded the establishment of a 10-member police anti-trafficking task force that has facilitated the repatriation of over 400 women and girls in the past 2 years. Task force members regularly use personal funds to feed and care for victims deported back to Nigeria. However, victims also have alleged that Nigerian immigration officials are actively complicit with or may operate as part of trafficking syndicates. The Governments of Italy and Nigeria have cooperated to repatriate over 900 victims of trafficking. NGO's provide some assistance to victims, conduct public awareness campaigns, and lobby for stronger legislation. These activities have had some success on the state/local level. In 2001 Edo State passed a law specifically aimed against traffickers of women and children, with provisions beyond those found in the national criminal code.


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