Main Menu
Street Children

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2025                             

Federal Republic of Nigeria

Oil-rich Nigeria, long hobbled by political instability, corruption, inadequate infrastructure, and poor macroeconomic management, has undertaken several reforms over the past decade. Nigeria's former military rulers failed to diversify the economy away from its overdependence on the capital-intensive oil sector, which provides 95% of foreign exchange earnings and about 80% of budgetary revenues.

Based largely on increased oil exports and high global crude prices, GDP rose strongly in 2007 and 2008. President Yar'adua has pledged to continue the economic reforms of his predecessor with emphasis on infrastructure improvements. Infrastructure is the main impediment to growth. The government is working toward developing stronger public-private partnerships for electricity and roads..  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Nigeria

Nigeria is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Within Nigeria, women and girls are trafficked primarily for domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation. Boys are trafficked for forced labor in street vending, agriculture, mining, stone quarries, and as domestic servants. Religious teachers also traffic boys, called almajiri, for forced begging.   - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009  Check out a later country report here and possibly a full TIP Report here



CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Nigeria.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to verify their authenticity or to validate their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include precursors of trafficking such as poverty and hunger. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

HELP for Victims

NAPTIP - National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and Other related Matters
Country Code: 234-



Babies bred for sale in Nigeria

Agence France-Presse AFP, Enugu Nigeria, Nov 09 2008

[accessed 13 December 2010]

[accessed 13 January 2020]

Neighbours were suspicious of the daytime silence at the maternity clinic that came to life only after nightfall, though never suspected its disquieting secret -- it was breeding babies for sale.  But recent police raids have revealed an alleged network of such clinics, dubbed baby "farms" or "factories" in the local press, forcing a new look at the scope of people trafficking in Nigeria.  At the hospital in Enugu, a large city in Nigeria's south-east, 20 teenage girls were rescued in May in a police swoop on what was believed to be one of the largest infant trafficking rings in the West African country.

The doctor in charge, who is now on trial, reportedly lured teenagers with unwanted pregnancies by offering to help with abortion.  They would be locked up there until they gave birth, whereupon they would be forced to give up their babies for a token fee of around 20 000 naira ($170).  The babies would then be sold to buyers for anything between 300 000 and 450 000 naira ($2 500 and $3 800) each, according to a state agency fighting human trafficking in Nigeria, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (Naptip).

Nigeria's 'respectable' slave trade

Allan Little, BBC correspondent Nigeria, 17 April 2004

[accessed 13 December 2010]

It starts with the promise of a better life.  The parents are taken in. The children are persuaded. When they leave home they do so willingly, with some excitement, not trepidation.  The trafficker has promised a good job, a schooling, a regular income. But that is not how it works out.

Nigeria: Victims of Human Trafficking Contract Aids

[accessed 13 December 2010]

[scroll down]

Head of National Agency for the Prohibition and Trafficking in Persons and other Related Matters (NAPTIP), Kano State zone, Ahmed M. Bello has disclosed that over 60 per cent of victims of trafficking repatriated to the country tested HIV positive.

The victims who are mainly teenagers, he added, engaged in prostitution overseas.

WANTED: the right to refuse

Maffie Black, New Internationalist 337, August 2001

[accessed 13 December 2010]

Take a look at article one of the Supplementary Convention on Slavery and you will see as one definition: ‘Any practice whereby a woman, without the right to refuse, is given in marriage in payment of a consideration in money or in kind ...’

How about a story? Just one, about Hauwa Abukar, a Nigerian girl who died aged 12. Her family had married her to an older man to whom they owed money. She was unhappy and kept running away, but because of the debt her parents were obliged to return her. Finally, her husband chopped off her legs with an axe to prevent her absconding again. She died from starvation, shock and loss of blood. No legal action was taken.


*** ARCHIVES ***

The Fight Against Human Trafficking In Nigeria

Simone Riggins, The Borgen Project, 23 February 2021

[accessed 23 February 2021]

THE SITUATION IN NIGERIA -- Though Nigeria is rich with natural resources, several issues exist such as a lack of job opportunities, social injustices, exclusion and discrimination. All of these make many individuals vulnerable to human trafficking. Due to weak child protection laws and family protection services, many women and children are subject to exploitation. Traffickers most commonly smuggle these victims of human trafficking in Nigeria into foreign countries. The U.S. State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons has found Nigerian trafficking victims in more than 34 countries, with most of them in Europe.

Survivors of Nigeria's 'baby factories' share their stories

Girls who fled Boko Haram attacks are being enslaved and raped by human traffickers who then sell their babies

Philip Obaji Jr., Al Jazeera News, 3 May 2020

[accessed 11 May 2020]

Baby factories are more common in the southeastern part of Nigeria, where security operatives have carried out several raids, including an operation last year when 19 pregnant girls and four children were rescued.

Women and girls are held captive to deliver babies who are then sold illegally to adoptive parents, forced into child labour, trafficked into prostitution or, as several reports suggest, ritually killed.

"Boys are more expensive than girls in the baby sale business," says Comfort Agboko, head of the southeastern arm of Nigeria's anti-trafficking agency, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), at her office in Enugu.

"Male children are often sold for between 700,000 naira (about $2,000) to one million naira (about $2,700) while female babies are sold for between 500,000 naira (about $1,350) and 700,000 naira."

The majority of the buyers are couples who have been unable to conceive.

The Nigerian human trafficking mafia in Europe

Bob Koigi, Fair Planet, 18 March 2020

[accessed 23 March 2020]

The journey begins in the West African country where naive and unsuspecting girls are approached by people they know with offers of jobs or education abroad. Most of these girls are from poor backgrounds and the chance of employment excites them. Terms of payment are discussed and agreed upon including repayment of the cost they would incur in airfare and accommodation. Before they leave, a black ceremony is performed on them including casting a spell to ensure that they never run away from their employers and commit them to refund for their expenses. The rituals usually include slaughtering of an animal and drinking of its blood. Once they set sail for Europe through the dangerous Mediterranean Sea route the agony begins. Upon arrival they are introduced to ‘madams’ who are usually part of the trafficking syndicate and are used as pimps. The girls’ passports are confiscated and they are forced into sex slavery in the most humiliating and deplorable conditions. The trade has particularly flourished in Germany, Italy and France.

Nigerian Human Trafficking Victims Rebuild Their Lives After Returning Home

Timothy Obiezu, VOA, Abuja, 25 August 2019

[accessed 27 August 2019]

For 35-year-old Beatrice, it was an offer she couldn't resist.  A job, the traffickers told her in 2013, on a large Italian farm.

She took the bait, thinking she could help pull her father and mother out of poverty by working abroad.

Instead, after being smuggled into Italy under extremely dire traveling conditions, she was forced into prostitution to earn money for her traffickers.

"A friend of mine introduced me, he said, 'look at this place, you're going to work there on the farm.' He did not tell me I'm going to do prostitution, so I said it's very nice let me try. At the end of the day we passed through Libya, took a ship, a lot of people died,” Beatrice said.

Beatrice was there for four years. She's from Nigeria's southern State of Edo, known to contribute the highest number of trafficked women from Nigeria.

More than 11,000 of them are estimated to be working as sex slaves in Italy alone.

Beatrice says her suffering was unbearable.

"If you don't come back with money, they'll beat you up, do different things. They give you fresh pepper, you know how it is if it got to your eyes. They'll tell you to put it in your vagina. Even if you're menstruating you'll still go out to work,” Beatrice said.

Nigeria government 'detaining' trafficking survivors: Report

Al Jazeera News, 27 August 2019

[accessed 27 August 2019]

According to a Human Rights Watch report, survivors of human trafficking are being locked up in shelters by government.

According to the report, the Nigerian government is illegally detaining survivors of human trafficking, inhibiting the recovery of the traumatised survivors from the experiences they went through.

"The Nigerian authorities are actually detaining trafficking survivors in shelters, not allowing them to leave at will, in violation of Nigeria’s international legal obligations," the New York-based rights body said.

"The detentions overwhelmingly affect women and girls, and put their recovery and well-being at risk."

The report is based on interviews with 76 survivors, 20 of them girls between the ages 8 and 17, who either were trafficked out of Nigeria and later returned, or were trafficked into the country.

Three survivors of human trafficking share their stories


UN Women, 29 July 2019 - originally published on

[accessed 30 July 2019]

In Libya, Mary found herself in peril. “Ben took two of us girls one night. He gave the other girl to another man, and he said to me if I didn't sleep with him, he would give me to another man and not bring me to Europe. He raped me,” Mary says.

She wanted out but had no means of contacting anyone back home. “I had to stay there for months until they called me to go on the boat,” she says.

When she was finally put on a boat to Italy, Mary was informed she would be living in a camp and work as a prostitute—unjust conditions that she had never agreed to and couldn’t escape.

“I can't go stand on the side of the road in the name of money," she says, her voice rising. "I have a future. Standing there, selling myself, would destroy my life. My dignity. Everything.”

Now, the people who paid Mary’s way to Italy are demanding money and threatening her mother back in Nigeria. Her voice falters as she explains that, “they said they would do something very bad to her if I don't send money.”

Trafficking Survivors

Agnes Odhiambo, Senior Researcher, Women's Rights Division, Human Rights Watch, 4 July 2019

[accessed 8 July 2019]

The Home Office’s claims ignore the reality in Nigeria. I have recently completed research for an upcoming Human Rights Watch report on abuses that women and girls trafficked within and outside Nigeria suffer, and the assistance they receive when they are identified or return home. Many told me about suffering horrible abuses at the hands of their traffickers, including being exploited through forced prostitution and other forms of forced labor in slavery-like conditions. They told me they were raped, beaten, threatened with death, held in debt bondage, and not allowed to communicate with their families. Many said they had no options and wished to return to Nigeria.

But their abuse did not end after returning home. Many said they returned penniless, to worse economic situations, and with mental trauma, physical injuries, and illnesses. Although some women and girls returned to supportive families, others said their families blamed them for returning home without money, or abused, mocked, and ostracized the survivors, compounding their trauma. They said they were humiliated in their communities for returning from abroad with nothing, or for being victims of sexual exploitation.

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Nigeria

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 20 June 2021]


Forced labor remained with reports of women and girls subjected to forced labor in domestic service, and boys subjected to forced labor in street vending, domestic service, mining, stone quarrying, agriculture, and begging.


Children engaged in the worst forms of child labor identified in the country including: commercial agriculture and hazardous farm work (cocoa, cassava); street hawking; exploitative cottage industries such as iron and other metal works; hazardous mechanical workshops; exploitative and hazardous domestic work; commercial fishing; exploitative and hazardous pastoral and herding activities; construction; transportation; mining and quarrying; prostitution and pornography; forced and compulsory labor and debt bondage; forced participation in violence, criminal activity, and ethnic, religious, and political conflicts; and involvement in drug peddling.

Many children worked as beggars, street peddlers, and domestic servants in urban areas. Children also worked in the agricultural sector and in mines. Boys were forced to work as laborers on farms, in restaurants, for small businesses, and in granite mines, as well as street peddlers and beggars. Girls worked involuntarily as domestic servants and street peddlers.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 8 July 2020]


Nigerian organized crime groups are heavily involved in human trafficking. Boko Haram has subjected children to forced labor and sex slavery. Both Boko Haram and a civilian vigilante group that opposes the militants have forcibly recruited child soldiers, according to the US State Department.

Meanwhile, implementation of the 2003 Child Rights Act, which protects children from sexual exploitation and other abuses, remains uneven; a UNICEF child protection specialist noted that 11 northern states have not implemented the legislation during public remarks delivered 2019.

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) continues to rescue trafficking victims and prosecute some suspected traffickers, but its funding is reportedly inadequate, and there have been few prosecutions against labor traffickers. Survivors of trafficking operations often find their freedom of movement withheld by NAPTIP in poorly-managed shelters, and experience discrimination when seeking access to public services after their release.

2017 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, US Dept of Labor, 2018

[accessed 22 April 2019]

[accessed 4 May 2020]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

[page 759]

In northern Nigeria, many families send children from rural to urban areas to live with Islamic teachers, known as mallams, and receive a Koranic education. These children, known as almajiri, may receive lessons, but teachers often force them to beg on the streets and surrender the money they collect. (29; 30; 31) Furthermore, these children are highly vulnerable to recruitment by Boko Haram. (31)

Benin City, the capital of Edo state, is a major human trafficking hub in Africa. (32; 33) Girls from Nigeria are sent to North Africa and Europe for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. (33; 34; 35; 36; 37; 38) Children from West African countries experience forced labor in Nigeria, including in granite mines, begging, agriculture, and domestic work. (3; 23; 39; 40)

Boko Haram forcibly recruited and used child soldiers during the reporting period. (4; 3) Reports indicate that children were recruited to participate in combat operations and act as spies, messengers, porters, body guards, and cooks. (27; 41) Children were also forced to act as suicide bombers. (4) The terrorist group also subjected girls to forced labor and sexual servitude. (3; 41) The Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), a non-state self-defense militia involved in fighting Boko Haram, continued to recruit and use children to conduct security searches, gather intelligence, man checkpoints, and apprehend suspected insurgents. (27; 28) The CJTF also reportedly used some children recovered from Boko Haram to lead CJTF and army personnel to Boko Haram camps, putting these children at serious risk for retaliation and denying them victim care. Although the Government of Nigeria has officially prohibited the recruitment and use of child soldiers, research found that the Nigerian military conducted joint patrols with the CJTF, which used children during the reporting period. (42; 27; 28) As reported by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, as of May 2016, Nigerian military personnel were using four boys between ages 14 and 16 years old in support roles. At the close of 2017, it was unknown whether these children had been released. (43)

In 2017, more than 1.7 million people were internally displaced in northeast Nigeria, of which nearly 500,000 were children under age 18. (44). Some girls, particularly unaccompanied minors, were subjected to commercial sexual exploitation in IDP camps and military barracks, often by members of the Nigerian military, the CJTF, and other camp security personnel in exchange for food. (3; 45; 46; 47; 48) Research was not able to determine the scale of this problem in 2017.

"Vulnerability' To Human Trafficking: A Study Of Viet Nam, Albania, Nigeria And The UK

Patricia Hynes, Report of Shared Learning Event held in Tirana, Albania: 24-26 October 2017

[Long URL]

[accessed 13 February 2022]

This report describes the first stages of an ethically-led, two-year research study into understanding the causes, dynamics and ‘vulnerabilities’ to and resilience against human trafficking in three source countries– Albania, Viet Nam and Nigeria – plus the support needs of people from these countries who have experienced trafficking when identified as potential ‘victims’ of trafficking in the UK.

Boko Haram Claims Responsibility in Video for Kidnapping Nigerian Girls

Adam Nossiter, New York Times, Dakar Senegal, 5 MAY 2014

[accessed 5 May 2014]

In a video message apparently made by the leader of Nigeria’s Islamist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls nearly three weeks ago, called the girls slaves and threatened to “sell them in the market, by Allah.”

“Western education should end,” Mr. Shekau said in the 57-minute video, speaking in Hausa and Arabic. “Girls, you should go and get married.” The Islamist leader also warned that he would “give their hands in marriage because they are our slaves. We would marry them out at the age of nine. We would marry them out at the age of 12,” he said.

Recruitment Firms as Agents of Forced Labour, Human Trafficking

ThisDayLive, Nigeria, 01 August 2012

[accessed 1 August 2012]

[accessed 19 February 2019]

Allegations are mounting against recruitment agencies in the country for engaging in forced labour and human trafficking. Linda Eroke writes on the need for strict regulations and the promotion of recruitment practices that do not threaten the right of workers.

Although, Nigeria like most African countries is bedeviled by so many problems such as poverty, unemployment, insecurity and natural disaster, the problem of forced labour and human trafficking has continued to undermine the essence of living.  Every day, increasing number of men, women and children are trafficked from one city to neighbouring countries and across continents with promised of better life outside their comfort zones.  In the cause of searching for greener pasture, they are coerced into work they have not chosen and subjected to perpetual life in bondage. They work under strenuous conditions and do not receive the wage that was promised them.  The International Labour Organisation (ILO) described this group of people as victims of forced labour who have been trafficked into a situation from which they find it difficult to escape.

In Nigeria, there is a high demand for cheap and easily disposable labour as organisations, which are already over burden with high cost of operations engage the services of private recruitment agencies.  This is common in industries that are labour intensive such as agriculture, domestic work or construction. Most of these agents, unknown to many are traffickers who take advantage of the huge supply of cheap labour within and outside the shores of the country.  Though the ILO recognises the positive role played by Private Employment Agencies (PEAs) in national and global labour markets, it however called for strict regulations and the promotion of recruitment practices that do not threaten workers’ rights.

The Trafficking of Women and Children in Nigeria  An Analysis of the New Anti-Trafficking Legislation and Its Application

De Harzburgite, Jurnal Undang-Undang Dan Masyarakat, 2010

[Long URL]

[accessed 13 February 2022]

This article analyses the legal framework for dealing with the trafficking of women and children in Nigeria, It does so by exploring the various anti-trafficking measures contained in the Nigerian Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act 2003 as amended and recommending further new amendments to it.

Nigeria: Country Among World's Highest in Human Trafficking

Francis Onoiribholo, Daily Independent (Lagos), 22 December 2008

[accessed 13 December 2010]

[accessed 4 May 2020]

Nigeria has been named by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as among the eight countries considered the highest in human trafficking in the world.   National Project Officer of UNODC, Ms. Amina Abdulrahman, made the comment in an address presented on behalf of the Country Representative of the body, Mrs. Dagmar Thomas, at the launch of the second phase of the UNODC/UNICRI-assisted project entitled: "Preventing and Combating Trafficking of Minors and Young Women from Nigeria to Italy," in Benin over the weekend.   Abdulrahman mentioned Thailand, China, Albania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine, as the other seven countries tagged by a recent UNODC report as Nigeria's counterparts in the despicable record of most trafficked persons in the world.

Voodoo Aids Human Trafficking [PDF]

Musikilu Mojeed, The Punch, 24 Oct 2008

[accessed 24 April 2012]

VOODOO AND THE TRAFFICKING BUSINESS - Another major factor oiling the wheel of trafficking in the country is voodoo. Insiders in the trafficking business say once arrangements for victims’ trips abroad are completed, traffickers seal the deal by taking the victims to shrines of voodoo priests for oath taking. There, victims are made to swear that they would never reveal the identities of their traffickers to anyone if arrested whether in the course of the journey or in the destination countries.

A repented former trafficker confirmed that voodoo, known as juju in the Nigerian parlance, is playing a great but nauseating role in the human trafficking business.

When traffickers are arrested in Nigeria, victims have often failed to show up in court to testify against them for fear that they would die if they violate the oaths they took. In administering the oaths, the source said traffickers usually collect the finger nails, menstrual blood and pubic hairs of the girls in preparing concoctions. NAPTIP’s Deputy Director of Prosecution and Legal Services, Mr. Abdulrahim Shaibu, said his agency had had difficulty prosecuting traffickers because “victims are afraid of juju and are hardly forthcoming.”

Inside the Nigerian transnational human trafficking industry

Musikilu Mojeed, The Punch, 16 Oct 2008

[accessed 18 August 2014]

The last people in the chain are the big madams based in the destination countries. On arrival in the destination countries, they seized the passports of the victims and give the boys out as domestic servants to patrons who need their services while the girls are made to work as prostitutes. The traffickers receive payments from patrons while the girls are made to sleep with them. Our source said the girls pay between 60 and 80,000 Euros to their madam to get their freedom.

Dr. Esohe Aghatise, who has done extensive work on trafficking, said when Nigerian girls arrive in Italy, they are taken to the sex market towns of Livorno, Torinto and Genova where they are sold to bosses or madams. ”They sold them for 20,000 Dollars and the traffickers make about 90,000-100,000 million Liras from each girl. Most of the girls prostitutes on the rented portions of roads and their clients often have sex with them in the bush or in their cars.” The girls, Aghatise says, make daily returns to their bosses or madams who he explains usually employ the services of cult members to enforce compliance.

Also, according to Aghatise, the girls are expected to pay about 516 Euros to their madams per month to rent the roadside spot there they wait for clients in extreme weather conditions. They are also expected to contribute about 36 Euros weekly each for their feeding and buying of provocative clothing. ”When we don‘t earn the money our madam wants, she presses a hot iron on our chests,” Aghatise quoted one Stella, a former victim, who was rescued by an NGO, Associatione Papa Giovanni, as having revealed. Between 1994 and 1998, about 116 Nigerian girls are said to have died on the streets of Italy while prostituting.

45-yr-old woman arrested over alleged child trafficking

Nigerian Tribune, July 29, 2008

[access date unavailable]

The officer of the NSCDC in charge of Ekiti axis, Mr. Jolayemi Samuel, told newsmen that the suspect claimed that the 26 children were pupils and students in Benue State and were being taken to Ogbomosho for holidays with their respective parents and guardians.

However, he said some of the children said they were being taken to Ogbomosho to work and be paid. According to him, one of the children said they were being taken to the town to work on a farms as labourers and as house helps.

A tortuous tale of human trafficking

Clare Short, Birmingham Post, Jul 8 2008

[accessed 4 July 2013]

I asked what her problem was, and she said it was very complicated. She then started to weep quietly, big silent tears sliding down her cheeks. More than ten years ago, she was offered a job in Holland.  She signed a paper to say that she would repay the fare.  She left two children with relatives and said she would send money.

When she got to Holland, she was imprisoned in a flat and forced to work as a prostitute. She was paid nothing and had a terrible time, all along desperately worried about her children. After some time, she escaped and lived for a while homeless on the streets. She found she was pregnant.  She then met a kind Dutch man who took her home and cared for her. Her daughter was born and he suggested they marry.  They went to the Dutch authorities to try to regularise her position. They said she must return to Nigeria to apply to return. She agreed to do this because she wanted to be legal, but they would not let her take her daughter because she was born in Holland. Her daughter was taken into care.

Back home, the gang that trafficked her said she must repay $45,000. She explained that she had no money. They then burnt down her father’s house and later beat her so badly that she spent three months in hospital. She then escaped by coming to the UK and applying for asylum. Her Dutch partner comes to visit her regularly.  They have married in the UK, but she cannot go with him to Holland.  She cannot work in the UK. She cannot join her husband in Holland. She is terrified for her children in Nigeria and yearning to see her daughter who is now eight and in care in Holland.

Poverty, responsible for human trafficking – Imoke

Leadership (Abuja), 26 May 2008

[partially accessed 9 September 2011 - access restricted]

According to her, various researches indicate that the root cause of the phenomenon of trafficking is poverty, ignorance, civil strife, and greed. She also said that one of the causes identified in Cross River is the incidence of child rejection …

Human trafficking endangers Nigeria's future — Immigration

John Ighodaro, Vanguard, Lagos, 26 May 2008

[partially accessed 9 September 2011 - access restricted]

Speaking on the occasion of a workshop on human trafficking convened by Nigeria Immigration Service, Cross River State Command and the Calabar Municipal Government, Dr. Popoola said, “Trafficking in persons, which has received global attention in recent times, is rated the second largest illegal and organised crime in the world after drugs in terms of revenue earnings.”

He noted that in Nigeria, “it has its victims among foreigners and Nigerians alike. They are usually transported by road, by sea and by air using several disguises, via Gabon, Cameroun and other neighbouring countries to undertake inhuman jobs under degrading conditions.

Nigeria: Porous Border Aids Human Trafficking

U.N. Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Kano, 21 May 2008

[accessed 9 March 2015]

The girls, who are from four southern Nigerian states Edo, Akwa Ibom, Anambra and Delta, told the officials that Osagie arranged with their parents to take them to Libya to work as maids for US$1,272 fees each, which they would pay in instalments from their wages.  "The work promise is a ruse. The truth of the matter is that they were going to pay the fees from the money they would make from prostitution in Europe," Ockiya said.

"Our investigation shows that 40 percent of trafficked girls repatriated to Nigeria test positive to HIV and this has serious social and economic implications," he said.

Nigeria: When Bankole Wept for Unfortunate Children

Philip Nyam, Leadership (Abuja), 28 March 2008

[partially accessed 9 September 2011 - access restricted]

Despite the fact that Nigeria is a sovereign member of the United Nation and a competent signatory to the above international instruments against child abuse; the intolerable social phenomenon is on the steady increase in the country. In fact, it is absurd to note that millions of Nigerian children are subjected daily to all forms of abuse ranging from trafficking to slavery and forced labour. This ugly situation continues in spite of the efforts by law enforcement agencies, international, national and governmental authorities.

Nigeria: Police Rescues 105 Children From Human Traffickers

Ahmed Mohammed, Daily Trust, 8 February 2008

[partially accessed 9 September 2011 - access restricted]

The 'anti human trafficking piracy special Investigation unit' of the FCT police command has so far rescued 105 teenagers between the ages of five to thirteen years from human traffickers, in different places in Abuja.

He said the children were trafficked from Nassarawa, Lagos, Kano, Kwara and some villages within the FCT to be used as sex slaves and child labourers within the Motor Parks, Markets and restaurants in Abuja, which contravenes section 19 of the 'Trafficking Act in Persons'.

Musa disclosed further that one of the suspects, Amina Adamu actually confessed that she kidnapped the victims to the FCT for prostitution as well as to be used as slaves, for her to get money.

Nigeria: Country Leads in Women Trafficking to Europe - Minister

Abdullahi M. Gulloma, Daily Trust, Abuja, 22 November 2007

[partially accessed 9 September 2011 - access restricted]

The Minister of Labour, Dr. Hassan Muhammad Lawal, said Tuesday that Nigeria has more cases of trafficking of women to Europe and Middle East than any other African country.  The minister, who disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the International Cooperation Workshop against Human Trafficking in Abuja, said most of the trafficked women are forced into prostitution.

Dr. Lawal also expressed concern that most anti-trafficking programmes focus on trafficking for sexual exploitation, saying that the campaigns are "too narrow in scope."

"ILO estimates further indicate that 80 percent of forced labour in the African region is for economic exploitation and only 8 percent for commercial sexual exploitation," he said.

Nigeria: Human Trafficking - a View From Edo State

Atika Balal, Daily Trust, Berlin, 19 November 2007

[partially accessed 9 September 2011 - access restricted]

The phenomenon of human trafficking in Nigeria has become multi dimensional and multi faceted to the extent that anybody could fall a victim and no one is safe. Besides prostitution, marriage, and forced labour, some of these victims are used for rituals, begging and even for organ transplantation or money laundering. While most trafficking into the commercial sex trade involves young adult women, minors including some children under 16 are also exploited.

While lots of people blame poverty or culture as a basis for human trafficking in Nigeria, NAPTIP says other causes of the outrageous rate of human trafficking in the country are ignorance, desperation, and the promotion and commercialization of sex by the European Union (EU).

Accused human trafficker fights extradition

Andrew Hough, Reuters, London, Oct 25, 2007

[accessed 13 December 2010]

It was part of an international police operation that led to another 19 people being arrested in Britain, the United States, Belgium, Spain, Holland, Ireland and Nigeria.  Dutch officials said the smuggling ring used fear of voodoo to force dozens of young Nigerian children and women to work as prostitutes in European countries including the Netherlands, France, Italy and Spain.  They said the under-age girls were forced to promise a voodoo priest in Nigeria that they would pay off debt.

95 women arrested for alleged human trafficking

The Tide Online, Aug 4, 2007

[accessed 9 September 2011]

“These teenage girls were brought into Lagos from the South-South for trafficking to neighbouring Benin Republic for child labour,” he said.  “Investigations revealed that the trafficked children have been sexually abused.  “They alleged that their masters used them for commercial sex business in brothels where they make returns of N1,000 to them per day,” Abubakar said.

Lawyer jailed for human trafficking,  26/07/2007

[accessed 13 December 2010]

He said taking all this into account, Ilori’s crime wasn’t at the highest end of the scale but added that "it was undoubtedly the case" that he brought twelve Mauritian nationals into the country knowing they were illegal.  Judge Nolan said he accepted that there was a scheme in place and said that although there were others involved, Ilori was an actor in it and made financial gains through it.  He said that these Mauritian nationals suffered because they paid out quite a bit of money and left their native country believing they had work available here.

Curtailing human trafficking in Ebonyi

okoroamadi, July 20, 2007

[accessed 13 December 2010]

[accessed 10 February 2018]

The question bugging the minds of many remains, is human trafficking on the increase in Nigeria? Who are the masterminds of human trafficking? Who are most at risk of being trafficked? What are the methods employed by traffickers to lure/recruit their victims? What inhuman and unjust conditions are victims subjected to? What impact has the creation of National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) made in efforts to combat these ugly development, as well as the National Assembly?

It is worthy to note that despite the effort being made by the Federal Government to stem the rising tide of human trafficking, the menace has not abated.

Nigeria Intercepts 62 Suspected Child Laborers

Voice of America VOA News, 18 July 2007

[accessed 2 September 2012]

[accessed 4 May 2020]

The Nigerian police intercepted a truck in the country's south carrying the potential child laborers to Cameroon and Gabon. The children included a three-year-old girl. Oraukwe says some suspects have been arrested and would soon be prosecuted.

"We have secured 12 convictions; we have not lost any case since this thing started," said Oraukwe. "We cannot let this matter go down like that, especially when it is not just Nigeria. What my boss is doing is to try to reach out to those countries that have their citizens here, to take custody of their citizens while we prosecute the traffickers."  Child trafficking is punishable by a maximum 10-year jail term in Nigeria.

Rescued human trafficking victims go on hunger strike

Nigerian Tribune, July 18, 2007

[access date unavailable]

One of the victims, Mr. Godfrey Ayima, said since they were brought in by the police, they had not been fed or allowed to take their bath, saying they were detained with hardened criminals and the girls made to pass the night in the same cells with boys.

Media onslaught against child trafficking

Ponte, News Agency of Nigeria NAN, Jul 10, 2007

[accessed 9 September 2011]

In a remote jungle of Ondo State reside three able-bodied teenagers. They have been labouring away for two years in an expansive cocoa plantation.  They can neither read nor write except to communicate in their native Cross River dialect. The teenagers speak pidgin English as well.  They neither own the farm nor any other property, or even aspire to; the boys only live from the handout offered by their ‘master’ who has arranged for their departure to the ‘Promised Land’.

“Now the land is cursing us, and we want to return home, but it is becoming increasingly difficult,” says one of them, amidst sobs, through an interpreter.  These hapless children, adored in the African tradition and seen as a great asset to the family and the community, have been trafficked internally, becoming labourers in another man’s empire.

Trafficking of African women is thriving

Francois Tillinac, Independent Online (IOL) News, May 10 2007

[accessed 13 December 2010]

In January Italian police smashed several human trafficking rings involving African and eastern European females and netted some 800 suspects.  Nigeria is the worst culprit in human trafficking where "peddlers work quietly and in the open" unfazed by law enforcing agents, said Ndiaye.

She said young girls were lured with fraudulent offers of jobs in Europe, only to end up being violently forced into prostitution.

Inside Africa

Cable News Network CNN, September 16, 2006

[accessed 13 December 2010]

Gooday Akhimiona is a juju or black magic priest, accused of helping traffickers by instilling fear in human trafficking victims, mostly girls between the ages of 12 and 25.

GOODAY AKHIMIONA, JUJU PRIEST: Presenting my power. If I say something, (inaudible).

PUREFOY: Victims say they're forced through bloody and degrading juju rituals, and made to swear oaths of secrecy. One victim, rescued by her cousin while on her way to Europe, wishing to keep her identity hidden, explained what happened to her.

Court jails father of five for human trafficking

U.N. Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Lagos , 29 September 2006

[accessed 9 March 2015]

A court in the southern Nigerian city of Benin has jailed a 31-year-old father of five for human trafficking in what human rights activists consider a significant victory against a growing problem.  Justice J.A. Acha of the city's high court jailed Constance Omoruyi for two years in addition to fining him 150,000 naira (US $1,171) on charges related to trafficking two women to work as prostitutes in Europe.

Human Trafficking on the Rise in Nigeria

Bala Muhammad Makosa (babanjawad), OhmyNews, 2006-09-27

[accessed 18 August 2014]

Despite the effort being made by the Nigerian government to stem the rising tide of human trafficking, the menace has not abated.  Police authorities disclosed on Sept. 24 that two people who offered to buy a six-year-old girl for 600,000 Nigerian naira (U.S.$4,680) were being questioned in Maiduguri, state capital of Borno, in northeast Nigeria.

This disclosure followed the arrest of six people, including a medical doctor, for alleged involvement in the sale of children.

Nigeria/West Africa: Human trafficking

Adeze Ojukwu, Deputy News Editor, Daily Champion (Lagos) NEWS, Sep 21, 2006

[accessed 24 April 2012]

With increasing incidence of trafficking in children, particularly girls for sex and domestic work, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that the incidence of child labour in Nigeria for persons aged 10 to 14 years is approximately 12 million.

"In the South-West, a greater number of girls and women end up in prostitution, while in the East, the problem affects mainly boys who find themselves trafficking into agricultural, domestic, trading and apprenticeship jobs," the report said.

Also 60 per cent of women trafficking victims for commercial sex in Italy are Nigerians.

Nigeria - Evils of Human Trafficking

Ekemini Yemi-Ladejobi, Daily Champion (Lagos), August 18, 2006

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 9 September 2011]

Clara, 13, was picked up by her aunty having agreed with her parents that she will work as a house help somewhere in Lagos on a salary of N7,000 and this money is to be sent to her parents in the village.  Unknown to Clara and her relatives, the aunt, who is involved in human trafficking, will hand her over to a syndicate. By the arrangement of her aunt, whose plans were not disclosed to her relatives, Clara will continue her voyage to an undisclosed destination as soon as she arrives.

As agreed, Clara was handed over in exchange for money, part of which was sent to her parents as salary for two years. Soon after the deal was sealed, Clara began her journey to Italy where she was forced into prostitution.

Child Traffickers Jailed

Yinka Kolawole, This Day, 20 July 2006

[accessed 13 December 2010]

[accessed 19 February 2019]

Eight child traffickers are already serving jail terms ranging from three to seven years in different prisons across the country for child trafficking offences.  Head, Investigation and Monitoring Unit of the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Mallam Mohammed Babandede, said this in his paper at a one-day workshop on Public Awareness Campaigns and Advocacy on Trafficking in Women and Children, organised for Journalists in Osun, Kano and Cross River by WOTCLEF.

Babandede said women and children trafficking are now serious offences since 2003, when NAPTIP was established.  He said 20 people are now behind bars, while 25 cases are still on-going in various courts.

State leads in child trafficking and prostitution

Okon Bassey, This Day, 9 August 2006

[accessed 13 December 2010]

[accessed 4 May 2020]

Akwa Ibom State is now leading in human trafficking and child labour, beating Edo State to the second place.  Executive Secretary, National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP), Barrister Carol Ndaguba, identified the type of trafficking in AkwaIbom State to include, internal trafficking for sexual exploitation, child trafficking for labour exploitation and child abuse.

27 human trafficking victims get vocational training

[access information unavailable]

The girls, between the ages of five and 16 years were among the 40 trafficked children intercepted by the Nigeria Police in a containerized truck in May 2005 from Edati en-route Lagos for the purpose of domestic labour.

Immigration service to sensitise Bayelsans on human trafficking

The Tide News, July 24, 2006

[accessed 13 December 2010]

The comptroller expressed dismay over the rate at which parents and guardians in rural areas gave out their children and wards to unsuspecting relations and other individuals to serve as helpers.  He explained that the relations and others who took these children to the urban centres to help them often ended up enslaving them.  “Some of the relations even sell the children out to other countries without the consent of their parents and guardians,” he said.

Jonathan tasks govt on human trafficking

Samuel Oyadongha, Vanguard, Yenagoa, 18 July 2006

[partially accessed 9 September 2011 - access restricted]

Bayelsa State government yesterday, said the current battle against human trafficking and child labour would continue to be a mirage without effective partnership on all fronts. Governor Goodluck Jonathan who made the remark while declaring open a two-day workshop on anti-human trafficking and child labour in Yenagoa enjoined government at all levels to summon strong political will and ensure that anti- human trafficking laws are enforced with a view to apprehending and bringing to book the traffickers and their cohorts.

Africa tackles  evils  of modernised slave trade

Vanguard, July 12, 2006

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 9 September 2011]

A source close to the policeman said that  the modus operandi of most of the prostitution rings is the same.  Usually they would  approach natives of some villages near Abudu in Edo state and offer to send their female children abroad.  Such parents would be told that their children would secure good jobs.

Nigerian ladies rescued from prostitution syndicate’s den in Burkina Faso

Chris Anucha and Matthew Dike, Daily Sun, February 2, 2006

[accessed 2 September 2012]

[scroll down]

Tony was said to have promised to take Rita and Lovina to Germany, to meet their elder sister who resides in that country, but the journey ended up in Burkina Faso where he told them they were brought to the country for prostitution.

Story that touches the heart : Why prostitution rate is rising

Chioma Obinna, Vanguard, December 31, 2005

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 9 September 2011]

She said at the age of 16, her aunt came from Lagos and said she has found her mother in Lagos that she should follow her to meet her mother. When she got to Lagos, she discovered that the woman did not know her mother’s where about. The woman now told her that she should join the other sex workers and begin to do what they are doing in order to pay her back the money she used to transport her to Lagos.

Dream of freedom turns to prostitution nightmare

U.N. Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, GENOA, 4 November 2005

[accessed 9 March 2015]

"Two people working in an apparently-normal travel agency arranged my journey. But once we arrived in Europe, we were locked in an apartment for a month and a half," she recounts. "They emptied our bags and seized our documents."

Trafficked Women in Italy Retain Faith Despite Exploitation

Catholic News Service CNS, Vatican City

[accessed 18 August 2014]

[accessed 10 February 2018]

Women smuggled into Italy and forced to work as prostitutes experience a "nightmare" of exploitation and abuse that leave them intensely traumatized, said an Italian nun who heads an anti-trafficking initiative.  Almost 90 percent of the African women forced into prostitution in Italy come from Nigeria and many of them are Christian, she said.

Help Sought to Combat Nigeria Sex Trade

Brian Murphy, Associated Press AP Religion Writer, Athens Greece, May 19, 2005

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 9 September 2011]

Maria's case illustrates one of the least understood corners of the sex slavery underworld: gangs using the perceived potency of native West African voodoo and hexes to hold women in their grip. Recently, however, an unusual alliance has started fighting back.

Nigerians Held For Trafficking, Lagos, Mar 4, 2005

[accessed 13 December 2010]

Human trafficking and the sale of human body parts are rampant in Nigeria and government efforts to fight the crimes have not yielded appreciable success.  Police in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital, have detained 10 suspects on charges they ran an orphanage for child trafficking, a police spokesperson said on Friday, adding that bones believed to be human were found there.

Fighting The Many Heads Of The Child-Trafficking Beast

U.N. Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Lagos, 21 March 2005

[accessed 24 April 2012]

"While the challenge of women and children being trafficked to Europe remains in the limelight, a big problem is the children being used as domestic help in big cities and towns within Nigeria," said Robert Limlim, head of UNICEF's child protection program in Nigeria.

Children's Rescue Highlights Nigeria's Battle With Trafficking

Joe Bavier, Voice of America VOA News, Abidjan, 08 March 2005

[accessed 14 December 2010]

[accessed 4 May 2020]

It was a refrigerated truck, normally used for shipping frozen fish, that a police surveillance team stopped in Lagos Sunday.  When they opened the cargo compartment, they discovered 64 children packed inside. Most were young girls, some as young as one year old. None was older than 14.  Just two days before, police on Nigeria's border with Benin arrested four people caught smuggling 52 children into the country. And last week, officers raided an orphanage in Lagos on suspicions it was being used as a front for child trafficking.

Child Trafficking: Police Go After Victims' Parents

Emma Nnadozie and Evelyn Usman, Vanguard, Lagos, 8 March 2005

[accessed 18 August 2014]

Police in Lagos have swung into action with a view to fishing out parents of the 52 children that were rescued in a container at Amumoko area of the state.

The State Police spokesman , Mr Ademola Adebayo, who took journalists to the scene of the incident, vowed that the necessary provisions of the law would be applied on the parents of the rescued children.

London Witchcraft Murder Traced to Africa Child Trade

James Owen for National Geographic Channel, February 10, 2005

[accessed 14 December 2010]

[accessed 19 February 2019]

In September 2001 a gruesome discovery was made in London's River Thames.  The hideously mutilated torso of a small black boy was found floating through the city.  The boy's arms, legs, and head had all been hacked off.  Forensic science examination has led police to believe that Adam was brought to the U.K. by a child-smuggling ring, but not as child labor.  Adam had been earmarked for human sacrifice.

Container kids 'to be sold as slaves'

Europe Intelligence Wire, March 08, 2005

[accessed 18 August 2014]

[accessed 19 February 2019]

Nigerian police found more than 60 children packed into a shipping container in Lagos, and a police said it was believed they were to be sold as slaves or servants.

The children were in a container normally used for carrying fish, said police spokesman Emmanuel Ighodalo in Abuja, the capital.  “We are trying to find out what they would be doing with children aged five to 14,” said Ighodalo. “We are thinking maybe they are using them for slaves and house boys.”

Human traffickers from Nigeria

The Economist, Benin City, Apr 22, 2004

[accessed 14 December 2010]

The market in Benin City sells just about everything: ladies' pants and bras, plastic bags, padlocks and second-hand clothes known locally as fairly used. But this city in south-eastern Nigeria also thrives on a less wholesome trade: people-trafficking. Those who are trafficked are mostly young, female and destined to work as prostitutes in Europe.

No one knows how many are shipped out each year, but everyone in Benin City knows someone who has gone. The most popular destination appears to be Italy, where Nigerian girls in tight jeans can be seen lolling on many a street corner.

Children in Slavery

August 27, 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 9 September 2011]

[August 27, 2004]  In Nigeria  120 boys and then later another 116 all from Benin were rescued from labour camps in the South Western states of Oyo, Osun and Ogun.  The boys some as young as 4 years old were found working in granite quarries, sleeping out in the open and malnourished.  Young boys from Togo were recruited to work as agricultural workers in Nigeria in return for their school fees.   The boys ended up working 13 hours a day and were beaten if they complained or did not work hard enough.  After 1 to 2 years they were given bicycles and told to peddle home.  Many never made it whilst others were robbed.

The long road to freedom

Sue MacGregor, The Independent, April 13th, 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 9 September 2011]

[scroll down]

Thousands of young Nigerians are sold into slavery every year. Sue MacGregor made a hazardous journey to meet the victims of this brutal trade, and the campaigners fighting against it.

Each year, more than 200,000 Nigerian children are forcibly taken from their homes to be put to work. Some go with the permission of their parents, and some do not. Many, especially boys who may be as young as five or six, end up as household slaves far from home, or as agricultural workers on smallholdings or in quarries, where they break large lumps of granite with heavy iron hammers and earn little more than a few cents a day. The dust they inhale will do them lasting damage. Some, especially the younger ones, die as a result; others end up with terrible scars, both physical and psychological. The girls who are taken may end up in domestic service, but many become prostitutes, perhaps in Ivory Coast or Gabon, but increasingly in Europe, particularly in Italy, where a well-organised criminal network distributes them to major cities like Rome, Florence and Turin.

The lost children of Nigeria's sex trade

Jonathan Clayton in Benin City, The Times, April 5, 2004

[accessed 18 August 2014]

Voodoo is used to control children sold into slavery by their parents.

Rita’s eyes opened wide as she described the voodoo ceremony intended to condemn her to a life of prostitution.  “The witch doctor took some of my nails, and hair. He cut the heart of a chicken into small pieces and mixed it all into a potion with a local gin brew. I had to drink it,” she whispered. “I was so frightened. I knew death would come if I betrayed the oath.”  Rita, then 15, was told that she must never run away from her “sponsors” or go to the police. “If I did, the Gods would take advantage of me, or my parents,” she said.

Her mother had taken Rita to the ceremony. After paying for her daughter to be taken to Europe for a “better life”, she wanted to safeguard her investment.  About 200,000 children such as Rita are taken from their homes in West Africa each year and are sold into domestic slavery, prostitution or worse, according to UNICEF UK.

Slavery fears for 'lost' children

Matthew Chapman, BBC Radio Five Live, 15 February 2004

[accessed 14 December 2010]

There are fears that large numbers of children may be trafficked into Britain after police discovered up to 30 had been "lost".

Campaigners fear thousands of children are being used as domestic slaves after being brought into Britain.

'AUNTS' AND 'UNCLES' - The vast majority of the children were from Nigeria, which is well known among law enforcement officials as being the main source for trafficked children into Britain.  "For years these children have been arriving at Heathrow and we've been sending them through without having a clue where they were going to," said a source familiar with the investigation, who declined to be named.

Scale of African slavery revealed

BBC News, 23 April 2004

[accessed 14 December 2010]

The report, which covers 53 African nations, says children are the biggest victims in what is a very complex phenomenon.  It describes how they are forced into slavery, recruited as child soldiers or sold into prostitution.

And the trade is often in both directions.  Nigeria, for example, has received trafficked people from 12 African countries, but trafficked Nigerians have been found in a dozen countries too.

COMPLICITY - Much of this trade in children often has the tacit collaboration of the victims' own families where it is seen not so much as criminal activity but as a way for a large family to boost its poor income.

Slavery abounds, U.N. 'remembers'

From Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, WorldNetDaily, January 19, 2004

[accessed 14 December 2010]

The book also contains interviews with Arab slave traders, who sustain that the sharia (Islamic law) authorizes them to enslave children and relatives of men with whom they are at war. They state that they sell slaves to Arabs in other countries.

Despite concerted efforts by the Women Trafficking and Child Labor Eradication Foundation to curb the growth of traffic in persons, it continues to boom with large numbers of victims and suspects deported to Nigeria daily.

Child slaves rescued from Nigeria!

The Associated Press AP, September 27, 2003

[accessed 9 September 2011]

[accessed 11 February 2018]

On this date in 2003 116 Black African boys were rescued from a slave labor camp in Nigeria. Police rescued the boys as young as 4 years old who had been put to work in the granite quarries in southwest Nigeria.

This initial intervention stemmed from increased international attention to child labor. The attention includes boycott threats of Ivory Coast cocoa, often harvested with the help of trafficked children. Their parents had put them in the hands of labor traffickers for as little as $35.

120 child workers repatriated to Benin

U.N. Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, 15 Oct 2003

[accessed 26 February 25, 2015]

Nigeria sent back to Benin on Wednesday 120 children who were smuggled into the country to work as slave labour, breaking stones at quarries, Benin government officials said.  The children were aged between four and 13 and had been kidnapped from their parent, they told IRIN.

This was the second batch of child workers to be repatriated from Nigeria to Benin since the two countries established joint border patrols in August to crack down on smuggling and banditry.  A first group of 116, aged between 10 and 12, was repatriated on 26 September.

Child labor on cocoa farms 'tip of the iceberg'

Human Rights Watch, New York, April 1, 2003

[accessed 14 December 2010]

Young Togolese boys told Human Rights Watch they could not afford to pay school fees and so agreed to do agricultural work in Nigeria. They said they cleared brush, planted seeds and plowed fields for up to thirteen hours a day, getting beaten if they complained of fatigue. Some were forced to use machetes to cut the branches of trees and wounded themselves seriously. After eight months to two years, they were given a bicycle and told to pedal it home to Togo.

Life Sentence for Human Traffickers

Toye Olori, Inter Press Service News Agency IPS, Lagos, Jul 28, 2003

[accessed 14 December 2010]

[accessed 11 February 2018]

More than 45,000 Nigerians are transported to Europe every year and forced to work in brothels. The lucky ones, who reach their destinations safely, often do so after encountering untold hardships on the way.

Child Labour Persists Around The World: More Than 13 Percent Of Children 10-14 Are Employed

International Labour Organisation (ILO) News, Geneva, 10 June 1996

[accessed 9 September 2011]

[accessed 11 February 2018]

"Today's child worker will be tomorrow's uneducated and untrained adult, forever trapped in grinding poverty. No effort should be spared to break that vicious circle", says ILO Director-General Michel Hansenne.

Among the countries with a high percentage of their children from 10-14 years in the work force are: Mali, 54.5 percent; Burkina Faso, 51; Niger and Uganda, both 45; Kenya, 41.3; Senegal, 31.4; Bangladesh, 30.1; Nigeria, 25.8; Haiti, 25; Turkey, 24; Côte d'Ivoire, 20.5; Pakistan, 17.7; Brazil, 16.1; India, 14.4; China, 11.6; and Egypt, 11.2.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 28 January 2005

[accessed 13 December 2010]

[76] The Committee notes with appreciation the serious and exemplary efforts undertaken by the State party to combat child trafficking, including establishment of bilateral anti-trafficking agreements and introduction of joint border controls. The Committee further welcomes the enactment of the law prohibiting human trafficking in July 2003, the creation of the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), and the Presidential appointment of the Special Assistant for Human Trafficking and Child Labor in June 2003. The Committee also notes the signature of the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others in 2003, and the ratification of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime in 2002, by the State party.


Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 10 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – Nigerians were trafficked to Europe, the Middle East, and other countries in Africa for the purposes of forced labor, domestic servitude, and sexual exploitation. Girls and women were trafficked for forced prostitution to Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Cote d'Ivoire, and Benin. Children were trafficked for involuntary domestic and agricultural labor and street peddling within the country and to countries in West and Central Africa. Both women and children were trafficked to Saudi Arabia. The country was a destination country for children trafficked for forced labor from other West African countries, primarily Benin.

Women and children were most at risk of being trafficked. Boys were trafficked primarily to work as forced bondage laborers, street peddlers, and beggars, while girls were trafficked for domestic service, street peddling, and commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficking in children, and to a lesser extent in women, occurred within the country's borders. Children in rural areas were trafficked to urban centers to work as domestics, street peddlers, merchant traders, and beggars.

The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported that individual criminals and organized criminal groups conducted trafficking, often involving relatives or other persons already known to the victims. Traffickers employed various methods during the year. Many were organized into specialties, such as document and passport forgery, recruitment, and transportation. To recruit young women, traffickers often made false promises of legitimate work outside the country. Traffickers also deceived child victims and their parents with promises of education, training, and salary payments. Once away from their families, children were subjected to harsh treatment and intimidation. Traffickers subjected victims to debt bondage, particularly victims forced into prostitution. In some cases, traffickers employed practitioners of traditional magic, or juju, to threaten victims with curses to procure their silence. NAPTIP estimated that 90 percent of the girls trafficked through Benin routes were threatened by juju practitioners. Victims were transported by air, land, and sea. Established land routes to Europe transited Benin, Togo, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, and Morocco.

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 13 December 2010]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - The country is a source, transit, and destination country for trafficked children.  Children from Benin and other African countries are trafficked to Nigeria, where some are forced to work as domestic workers, prostitutes,  or in other forced labor conditions.  Nigerian children are trafficked internally and to West and Central Africa for domestic labor and street hawking, and to Europe for commercial sexual exploitation.  Girls are sometimes sold into marriage.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery - Nigeria",, [accessed <date>]