Thursday, July 26, 2012

Combating Human Trafficking

The United States Congress requires U.S. Government agencies provide certain reports to it periodically.  The State Department for example annually provides country reports on International Religious Freedom, Human Rights, Terrorism, Narcotics Control strategy and Trafficking in Persons among others.  Through the reports the U.S. Congress is informed of what is happening and the role the U.S. is playing in tackling the subject of the reports.  The Trafficking in Persons Report or TIP for example seeks to stimulate action and create partnerships around the world in the fight against modern day slavery. Slavery is exactly what human trafficking is.

When it’s mentioned in Nigeria what readily comes to mind is the Italian connection reports.  This is where Nigerian girls are reportedly lured with promises of employment to Europe and unfortunately end up as prostitutes.  Another common form of trafficking here is for domestic labor.  While most people would sympathize with the children who find themselves abused and enslaved in the name of being house help there’s a tendency to see the adults who want to get to Europe as willing participants not victims.  This is regarded as smuggling and the participants are actually committing a crime.  However according to Michael Kiselycznyk Human Rights Officer at the U.S. Embassy Abuja the person being smuggled may at any point become a trafficking victim.  This is because once the ladies for example arrive at the destination they discover  employment waiting is not braiding  hair but prostitution.  At this point they cannot leave because their passports are seized, they have no friends or relatives or anyone to turn to and no money.  In effect, they are now slaves.
Why is the U.S. concerned about TIP and why should we all be?  Again Michael Kiselycznyk said there are three reasons
  1. Trafficking violates the universal human right to life, liberty and freedom from slavery in all forms.  For children it violates the right of a child to grow up in a protective environment and right to freedom from all forms of abuse and exploitation
  2. Public health costs: Victims often endure brutal conditions that result in physical, sexual and psychological trauma.  Many victims are infected with sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV.  Unsanitary living conditions contribute to TB and other communicable diseases, children often suffer the worst
  3. It weakens the rule of law and is a threat to international and national security
The Nigerian Government established the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to combat the problem.  The agency according to Ezekiel Kaura Director of Investigation and Monitoring adopts the four P’s in combating human trafficking.  They are;
Prevention: Public awareness and sensitization
Protection: Arrest, investigation and rescue
Prosecution: 167 convictions, financial and assets forfeiture
Partnership: with other law enforcement agencies and international bodies
He said challenges they face include illiteracy and ignorance, greed, negative effects of cultural practices, legal issues as it affects emerging trends like baby sales, oath of secrecy and so on.  It’s apparent that combating trafficking like any crime requires the collaboration of members of the community to succeed.  How can you support the relevant agencies to fight trafficking in Nigeria?


  1. War-Conflict Name Change Scenario
    I have a "War Conflict" name change.That My 10 Uncles,Set Forth,For The Protection of my Family,and the Well Being of all Americans.I live in Northeast,Ohio(USA).All of these "Dangerous Criminals",that ICTY Speak of,Are a Danger to my family,and all Innocent Civilians,Across this Universe.We have dealt with "Mafia"And Corruption,Ignorance from all Countries,here in Northeast,Ohio(United States).How does this happen?How are they able to Bully their way across the Country?Lets Do Our Part America!

  2. The human trafficking statistics today are out of control. I can't believe how prevalent it has gotten around the world. Also, the majority of the people being trafficked land in the United States! This is unbelievable. How could our country allow something like this to occur. I understand that traffickers have their ways of smuggling these "slaves" in, but I would like to think that our country would take major steps to eliminate this from continuing to happen. I hope change is brought soon.