Assessment of Human Trafficking and National Policies and Its Elimination in Nigeria

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1  Background of the study

Human trafficking is defined as the trade of people for the purpose of forced labor, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others. [UNODC, 2011] This can include providing a spouse in the context of forced marriage,[CHILD TRAFFICKING FOR FORCED MARRIAGE, 2013], or the extraction of organs or tissues, including for surrogacy and ova removal. Human trafficking is a crime against the person because it violates the victim’s right to movement through coercion and commercial exploitation. [Liam,2018] Human trafficking is the trade in people, particularly women and children, and does not always involve the movement of the person from one place to another. [state department, 2019] People smuggling, also known as human smuggling, is a crime against the person because it violates the victim’s right to movement through coercion and Through coercion and exploitation, smuggling circumstances may devolve into human trafficking.[international law, 2014] Trafficked individuals are kept against their will and compelled to labor for or give services to the trafficker or others. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), forced labor, one component of human trafficking, produces an estimated $150 billion in profits annually as of 2014.[special action, 2014] The ILO estimated in 2012 that 21 million people are imprisoned in modern-day slavery. 14.2 million (68 percent) were used for labor, 4.5 million (22 percent) were sexually exploited, and 2.2 million (10 percent) were compelled to work by the state. Child workers, minorities, and irregular migrants, according to the International Labour Organization, are more vulnerable to more severe types of exploitation. According to statistics, more than half of the world’s 215 million young employees are employed in hazardous industries, such as forced sex labor and forced street begging. Human trafficking is the world’s third largest crime industry, behind drug trafficking and arms trafficking, and the fastest-growing activity of transnational criminal organizations. [srivastava,2017] Ethnic minorities and highly marginalized groups of people are highly estimated to work in some of the most exploitative and damaging sectors, such as leather tanning, mining, and stone quarry work. International treaties classify human trafficking as a violation of human rights. Human trafficking is also the topic of a regulation in the European Union. [Liam,2018] According to a report published by the U.S. Belarus, Iran, Russia, and Turkmenistan continue to be among the worst nations in terms of human trafficking and forced labor protection, according to the State Department (trafficking in person,2019)Human trafficking has reached worrisome proportions in recent years, especially in West Africa, and is therefore receiving unprecedented worldwide attention. Despite the absence of reliable statistics, it is believed that approximately 200,000 children are trafficked yearly in West and Central Africa, with an estimated 35,000 women and children being trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation in West Africa alone. 3 Nigeria, the biggest and most populous country in Sub-Saharan Africa (140 million people), plays a key role as a place of origin, transit, and destination for human trafficking. 4 It is one of the world’s poorest nations, ranking fifth out of seven. Poverty in Nigeria, along with a high incidence of unemployment, a huge depreciation of the local currency, and civil and political instability, are some of the main domestic reasons driving a high rate of migration that facilitates human trafficking. Nigeria is Africa’s single biggest supplier of trafficked women to Europe and the Middle East. According to a recent survey, Nigeria is responsible for more cases of women being trafficked into Europe for forced prostitution than any other African country. Italian authorities estimate that 10,000 Nigerian prostitutes work in Italy, many of whom are victims of trafficking. (srivastava, 2017)Other factors contributing to trafficking include a desperate search for better opportunities, a gender imbalance, and a lack of education. The high demand for cheap, submissive labor, especially in the informal economies of the destination areas, as well as the growth of the sex industry, have fueled the trend. Nigeria, like some of its West African neighbors such as Benin, Togo, and Ghana, has been affected by human trafficking for several years but has only recently recognized the phenomenon. Nigeria was the first country in the area to pass national laws to address the problem of human trafficking in 2003. The “Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act, 2003” is the name of the law. Nigeria has also signed, ratified, and domesticated the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Human Trafficking, Especially of Women and Children, as well as the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime1. Nigeria has also ratified a number of ILO Conventions that are important in the fight against human trafficking and forced labor. Nigeria has also signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), migration policies, and bilateral cooperation agreements with both African and non-African nations. Unfortunately, several of these laws, regulations, and cooperation agreements have been rendered ineffective due to a lack of domestication and efficient execution, reducing their influence on the prevalence of human trafficking and forced labor. Several Nigerian laws include provisions relating to human trafficking and associated crimes. What they have in common is a heavy emphasis on the international trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation. Women are often considered to be victims, whereas males are supposed to be offenders. Prostitution is illegal in the North, and Edo State, which has a high rate of human trafficking for sexual exploitation, has recently criminalized prostitution and imposed penalties on men who patronize prostitutes. (Liam.2018) There are significant variations in the penalties given for comparable offenses under various laws, especially between the Criminal Code that operates in the southern half of the nation and the Penal Code that works in the northern portion of the country. The NAPTIP Act is the most current legislation, and it should take priority over others in the event of a dispute.

1.2  Statement of research problem

Human trafficking is the illegal act of transferring or coercing individuals for the purpose of profiting from their labor or service, usually via forced labor or sexual exploitation. Nigerian traffickers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They could be members of organized criminal networks that traffic mostly women and young girls into forced prostitution. They could also be ordinary people who are not members of criminal gangs but are relatives, neighbors, or friends who are better off than the victims or their parents/guardians. Nigeria was the first country in the area to pass national laws to address the problem of human trafficking in 2003. The “Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act, 2003” is the name of the law. Nigeria has also signed, ratified, and domesticated the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Particularly Women and Children, as well as the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime1. However, several factors stand in the way of prosecuting human traffickers, including, but not limited to, the lack of resources. Human trafficking and national policies for its abolition in Nigeria will be discussed against this backdrop.

1.3  Objectives of the study

The primary objective of the study is as follows

  1. To find out the reasons for human trafficking.
  2. To find out the policies that have been put in place to eradicate human trafficking
  3. To find out if the policies put in place have been effective enough to persecute traffickers
  4. To find out ways to improve on the national policies put in place to eradicate human trafficking in other for traffickers to be persecuted.

1.4  Research hypothesis

H01:There are no reasons for trafficking humans

H1: There are reasons for trafficking humans

H02: There are no  policies that have been put in place to eradicate human trafficking

H1:  there are policies that have been put in place to eradicate human trafficking

1.5  Significance of the study

The significance of this study cannot be underestimated as:

l  This study will examine  human trafficking  and  national policies on its elimination in Nigeria

l  The findings of this research work will undoubtedly provide the much needed information to government organizations, ministry of education and academia.

1.6  Scope of the study

This study will examine human trafficking  and  national policies on its elimination in Nigeria. Hence residence of Edo state will be used as case study.

1.7  Limitations of the study

This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:

 just like any other research, ranging from unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, inability to get data

Financial constraint , was faced by  the researcher ,in getting relevant materials  and  in printing and collation of questionnaires

Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher

1.8  Operational definition of terms

Human trafficking: the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.

National policies:  A broad course of action or statements of guidance adopted by the government at the national level in pursuit of national objectives

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