Uncovering the Dark Reality of Human Trafficking in Nigeria

Human trafficking is an extreme form of exploitation and a serious human rights violation. It is an international crime that affects millions of people around the world, and Nigeria is no exception. The country is a major source and destination of human trafficking and is also a transit point for victims of trafficking.

The dark reality of human trafficking in Nigeria is often overlooked, but it is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. In this article, we will uncover the dark reality of these act, the interest of criminologist in such deviant act as these crimes are mostly committed in rural areas and often with less recognition of how inimical it is to the society.

Uncovering the Dark Reality of Human Trafficking in Nigeria

Also, the key roles of the media like the Television network stations, newspapers and more importantly social media for eg, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and etc. Could bring about how communities, businesses, organizations and individuals perceive societal perceptions and perspectives and ideologies across countries on deviant act such as human trafficking and punishments appropriate for human trafficking.

Introduction to Human Trafficking in Nigeria

Human trafficking is a global problem that affects millions of people around the world. It is defined as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. In a lay man’s understanding , it is an extreme form of exploitation and modern-day slavery.

Nigeria is a major source and destination of human trafficking, and it is also a transit point for victims of human trafficking. It is estimated that between 800,000 and 1 million people are trafficked from Nigeria to Europe and other parts of the world each year. The victims are often exploited for cheap labor, sexual exploitation, forced marriage, and other forms of exploitation.

The Causes and Dark Reality of Human Trafficking in Nigeria

There are a number of factors that contribute to the prevalence of trafficking. One of the main causes is poverty and unemployment, as people are often desperate to find ways to make money and will take desperate measures if need be. The lack of education and awareness about human trafficking has made it easier for traffickers to deceive and exploit victims.

Other factors include the traditional belief that women are inferior to men, which leads to gender discrimination and the exploitation of women and girls. Furthermore, there is a lack of effective laws and enforcement mechanisms to combat human trafficking in Nigeria. This makes it easier for traffickers to operate with impunity. Victims of human trafficking are often subjected to physical and sexual abuse, forced labor, and exploitation. Women and girls are particularly vulnerable to trafficking, as they are often targeted for exploitation in the sex industry.

Uncovering the Dark Reality of Human Trafficking in Nigeria

Governmental Efforts and the Role of NGOs in Combating Human Trafficking in Nigeria

In 2003, the Nigerian government passed the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act, which criminalizes human trafficking and provides for the prosecution of traffickers. The government has also set up the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to investigate and prosecute cases of human trafficking.

The government has also enacted a number of policies to protect victims, such as the establishment of the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). This is a system that provides assistance to victims of human trafficking and refers them to appropriate services. Furthermore, the government has set up hotlines to report cases of human trafficking, as well as public awareness campaigns to educate the public about the dangers of human trafficking.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also play an important role in combating human trafficking in Nigeria. NGOs such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (GIFT) are working to raise awareness about human trafficking and provide assistance to victims of trafficking.

The Impact of Human Trafficking in Nigeria

Victims of human trafficking often suffer from physical and psychological trauma, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Additionally, victims of trafficking often experience financial difficulties, as they are mostly unable to access their wages or receive compensation for their labour.

The Dangers and Strategies for Preventing Human Trafficking in Nigeria
Human trafficking is a lucrative business for traffickers, but it is also extremely dangerous for victims. Victims of human trafficking are often subjected to physical and sexual abuse, forced labor, they are often at risk of exploitation, kidnapping, and even murder.

Furthermore, human trafficking is often linked to other forms of organized crime, such as drug trafficking and money laundering and prostitution as the case maybe. This makes it difficult for law enforcement to investigate and prosecute traffickers, as they often operate in secret and use sophisticated methods to evade detection.

Concluding Thoughts on Human Trafficking in Nigeria

Decolonizing criminology is a difficult and nearly impossible process, but it is necessary in order to reorient and broaden the study of crime and criminology. Human trafficking is a type of rural crime that is not as highly investigated as crimes like rape, murder, arson and etc. Therefore, Decolonizing the laws that govern human trafficking is necessary to expand the definition of the crime of human trafficking.

It is however important, to raise awareness of this issues and ensure traffickers are brought to justice. It is also necessary to ensure that victims of human trafficking have access to legal, medical and psychological services. This is pivotal to strengthen the economy in vulnerable communities, especially in rural areas, where these crimes are at large. Strain theory as defined by “Robert K. Merton“, is derived from “social factors” such as lack of “income or lack of quality education” this “drives individuals to commit crimes“.

It is, however, demonstrated that crime and social deprivation are intertwined. Strain theory can be ignited in this article as poverty is the main cause of such deviant behaviour in our society, mostly due to the fact that they seek for greener pastures. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which includes needs for food, shelter, and self-actualisation.

The role of the media also makes us understand that these deviant acts such as human trafficking still exist ill date. Hence, the clear case of a Nigerian senator, Ekweremadu, his wife Beatrice and daughter Sonia being accused of trafficking a 21-year-old man from Nigeria to the United Kingdom to have his kidney removed, the authorities was swift enough to take legal actions as this will serve perpetrators right for their inimical actions.

1. https://www.state.gov/reports/2022-trafficking-in-persons-report/nigeria/
2. Akor, L. (2011). Trafficking of women in Nigeria: Causes, consequences and the way forward. CORVINUS Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 2(2): 89-110.
3. Akpimeru, E.I. (2009). A critical evaluation of Nigerian policy on human trafficking. Nigerian Journal Pub. Pol., 5(162): 48-63.
4. National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic In Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP) (2005). website http:// www.naptip.gov.ng/tiplaw2005.html. Retrieved March, 2018.
5. UNESCO (2006). Human trafficking in Nigeria: Root causes and recommendations. 2006 Policy Paper Poverty Series 14(2) (E).
6. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11697689/amp/Nigerian-senator-Ike-Ekweremadu-London-court-accused-human-trafficking.html
7. Maslow hierarchy of needs (citation)
8. Merton, R. (1938) Social structure and anomie, in in McLaughlin, E., and Muncie, J. (eds) Criminological Perspectives
9. https://www.voanews.com/a/nigerian-group-grateful-for-us-help-over-abducted-girls-/1909848.html

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