Human Trafficking In Nigeria – Recent Study

Trafficking of human beings, especially women and girls, is not new. Historically, it has taken many forms, but in the context of globalization, it has acquired shocking new dimensions.

Human trafficking is illegal and inhuman trading on humans, goods, and services by a bad sense trader. It is an illegal act of moving human beings especially children and women, to another area either to physically, sexually and emotionally harm them or engage them in economic activities at the detriment of their welfare. They can either be used as sex workers or the heads of farms or shop needing access to cheap labor.


Estimates released by the Global Slavery Index in July 2018 indicate that there are 40.3 million victims of modern slavery worldwide, 71% of whom are women and girls and 25% of which are children. (It is noteworthy that the UNODC’s January 7, 2019 Report now estimates the number of children in slavery at almost 1/3 of all global victims.) 99% of the 4.8 million victims of commercial sexual exploitation in 2016 were women and girls, with one in five being children (ILO, 2017). Women and girls represented 84% of the 15.4 million people in forced marriages, and 59% of those in private forced labour (8.7 Alliance 2017 Report). The Index maintains that modern day slavery is most prevalent in Africa (with 9.24 million slaves and an average vulnerability score of 62/100).

Nigeria has acquired a reputation for being one of the leading African countries in human trafficking with cross-border and internal trafficking. Nigeria ratified the UN protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children in 2001 and passed a national law against trafficking entitled “Tracking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act 2003,”

 Nigeria remains a source, transit and destination country when it comes to human trafficking.  Per the latest Global Slavery Index (2018) Report, Nigeria ranks 32/167 of the countries with the highest number of slaves – 1,386,000 – and its National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) reports that the average age of trafficked children in Nigeria, now upgraded to a Tier 2 country on the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking In Persons Report (2019), is 15. NAPTIP further contends that 75% of those who are trafficked within Nigeria are trafficked across states, while 23% are trafficked within states. Only 2% of those who are trafficked are trafficked outside the country, according to NAPTIP (2016). It is the third most common crime in Nigeria after drug trafficking and economic fraud (UNESCO, 2006).

Here area few causes of human trafficking

Ignorance and illiteracy


Greed/love for money


Low self-esteem


Human trafficking can be stopped by enlightening the public, international cooperation, establishment of national agencies for the prohibition of traffic non-persons and other related matters(NAPTIP), poverty alleviation programs, free skill acquisition centers ….etc

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