Prevention of human trafficking

There is a high prevalence of modern day slavery known as trafficking in persons (TIP) in Nigeria. The menace of TIP came to limelight in Nigeria in the 1980s and assumed a centre stage in national and internal discourse in the late 1990s. Its high occurrence in the country has made Nigeria to be classified as a source, transit and destination country in TIP. Women and children who are the  most vulnerable groups are trafficked internally and externally for economic and sexual exploitation, such as prostitution, forced labour, domestic servitude, alms begging, drug trade, child soldier, forced marriage, organ transplant etc. Internally, women and children are trafficked from rural communities to urban centers for exploitation. Nigerian women, girls and boys are trafficked in large numbers to North Africa, Saudi Arabia and Europe mainly Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Norway and in small number to the United States and Asia for sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. Women, girls and boys are trafficked from neighboring countries like Chad, Niger Republic, Benin Republic, Togo and Ghana to Nigeria for begging, prostitution, domestic servitude, armed conflict, and labour exploitation. It is estimated that about 750,000 to one million persons are trafficked annually in Nigeria and that over 75 per cent of those trafficked are trafficked across the states, 23 percent are trafficked within states while 2 percent are trafficked outside the country.

Edo State is one of the 36 States in the Federal Republic of Nigeria with its Capital in Benin City.  It is in the Western part of the country with a population of about four million people spread over 18 Local Government Areas. Despite the huge population, the state is poorly industrialised and job opportunities are very limited.  About 50% of the populations are civil service workers and others are self employed, petty traders and subsistent farmers.  This has created a large pool of unemployed youths that can be easily drawn into crime. Young females particularly those with poor family backgrounds are easy to entice into the trans-national sex trade for prostitution in European countries. According to the research produced within the framework of the UNICRI/UNODC pilot project, majority of trafficked persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation are young women and minors from Edo State of Nigeria. Recent studies and presentations from NAPTIP confirm Edo State as the most endemic state in external trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. See below to buttress the above;

  • The first conviction secured by NAPTIP in 2004 (AGF VS. SARAH OKOYA) was from Edo State;
  • According to NAPTIP report, 98% of victims rescued from external trafficking for sexual exploitation are from Edo State;

About 47% of convicted traffickers (by NAPTIP) are of Edo state origin