Enforcement of the law remained ineffective in many parts of the country, and while officials made efforts to address trafficking cases, insufficient resources and jurisdictional problems between state and federal governments hampered efforts.
NAPTIP reported 654 investigations, 24 prosecutions, and 23 convictions for trafficking offenses, compared with 507 investigations, 32 prosecutions, and 24 convictions the previous reporting period.
NIGERIA: Tier 2 Watch list The Government of Nigeria does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.
The government demonstrated significant efforts during the reporting period by investigating, prosecuting, and convicting traffickers; conducting anti-trafficking training for law enforcement officials; and repatriating some Nigerian trafficking victims identified abroad.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR NIGERIA Cease NSF elements’ use of children; cease provision of financial and in-kind support to armed groups that recruit and use children; vigorously investigate, prosecute, and convict traffickers—including complicit officials, labor traffickers, and those who recruit and use child soldiers—and impose sufficiently stringent sentences; cease detaining former confirmed or suspected child soldiers, and ensure such children are not penalized for crimes committed as a result of being subjected to trafficking; implement programs for the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of former child combatants that take into account the specific needs of child ex-combatants, and work with NSF and CJTF to implement these plans; increase funding for NAPTIP, particularly to provide adequate victim care; continue efforts to provide regular training to police and immigration officials to identify trafficking victims and screen for trafficking among vulnerable populations; provide pre-departure information for migrants on how to find assistance if exploited abroad; expand ongoing police and immigration training to include identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as women in prostitution and young females traveling with non-family members; increase efforts to identify trafficking victims among IDPs, investigate cases, and implement preventive measures; increase efforts to investigate allegations of child forced begging in Quranic schools; continue to integrate anti-trafficking responsibilities into the work of other law enforcement agencies, especially the Nigerian police force; fully integrate anti-trafficking responsibilities in the work of the Ministry of Labor; and increase the capacity of Nigerian embassies to identify and provide assistance to victims abroad, including by implementing a mechanism that allows embassies to reissue passports to trafficking victims who lack identity documents.
PROSECUTION The government maintained anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, but there were increased reports of government complicity in human trafficking.
It was unclear how many investigations were pending and how many had been dismissed at the end of the reporting period.
Most convictions took place under the 2015 amended anti-trafficking law, although some judges also convicted traffickers under the 2003 anti-trafficking law and its amendments and other laws for employing a child with force, fraud, or coercion; transporting or attempting to transport women and girls abroad for exploitation; and knowingly soliciting or patronizing a sex trafficking victim.
Prison sentences upon conviction ranged from 18 months to 14 years imprisonment; of the 23 convictions, 22 resulted in imprisonment without the option of paying a fine.
Despite a 2015 amendment that removed judges’ ability to sentence traffickers to pay fines in lieu of prison time, Nigerian courts penalized one trafficker with the option of a fine or imprisonment.
Furthermore, despite the identification of 599 forced labor and child labor victims, the government only convicted two labor traffickers.
The government only convicted one trafficker for child forced begging, despite the prevalence of the practice.
A second NGO also reported sexual exploitation of IDPs by camp officials.