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Cablegate: Nigeria: Trafficking in Persons (Tip) Report

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 12 ABUJA 000857

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE


AIDAC


DEPT FOR G/TIP, AF AND INL


DOL FOR ILAB


PASS AID FOR G/WID


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM KWMN PHUM NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS (TIP) REPORT

REF: STATE 12686


1. The following is Post's submission for the annual
Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report. Paragraphs below are
keyed to questions in reftel.


PARA 23 -- OVERVIEW
-------------------


A AND B. IS THE COUNTRY A COUNTRY OF ORIGIN, TRANSIT OR
DESTINATION FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAFFICKED MEN, WOMEN, OR
CHILDREN? DOES THE TRAFFICKING OCCUR WITHIN THE COUNTRY'S
BORDERS? DOES IT OCCUR IN TERRITORY OUTSIDE OF THE
GOVERNMENT'S CONTROL (E.G. IN A CIVIL WAR SITUATION)? ARE
ANY ESTIMATES OR RELIABLE NUMBERS AVAILABLE AS TO THE
EXTENT OR MAGNITUDE OF THE PROBLEM? PLEASE INCLUDE ANY
NUMBERS OF VICTIMS. WHAT IS/ARE THE SOURCE(S) OF AVAILABLE
INFORMATION ON TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS? HOW RELIABLE ARE
THESE SOURCES? ARE CERTAIN GROUPS OF PERSONS (WOMEN AND
CHILDREN -- ALSO, BOYS VERSUS GIRLS -- OR CERTAIN ETHNIC
GROUPS) MORE AT RISK OF BEING TRAFFICKED?


A. and B. Nigeria is primarily a point of origin, though it
also serves as a significant transit area for trafficking
in the sub-region. To a lesser extent it is a destination
point for young children from nearby West African
countries. There is also a sizeable, but unquantifiable,
internal trafficking network for forced labor within
Nigeria. While the majority of trafficking from Nigeria
involves females destined for brothels in Southern Europe,
young males are trafficked to other African countries,
including Gabon, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and the Benin
Republic, to work on farms or plantations. Press reports
claim 18 children per month are repatriated from Gabon to
Nigeria's eastern cities. Authorities have identified
another trafficking route of children through Katsina and
Sokoto to the Middle East and East Africa. This practice
reflects historic slave trade routes between Sub-Saharan
Africa and the Middle East. Eastern Nigeria and Cross
River and Akwa Ibom states have been the focus of
trafficking of children for labor and, reportedly in some
cases, human sacrifice. Many children are sold for as
little as $50.00, according to press sources.


A and B (cont). There are no accurate figures of the
number of Nigerians involved in the international sex trade
-- the largest "employer" of the Nigerians trafficked
abroad. However, Nigerian law enforcement personnel and
NGOs tell us that some of the foreign prostitutes in Italy
are Nigerian. The Italian Ambassador to Nigeria recently
estimated that 18,000 Nigerians prostitutes currently in
Italy were victims of trafficking. Mark: This is not
credible. The number of Southeastern Europeans is much
higher, but they don't look quite so foreign. I worked on
Bosnia, so t his is something about which I've some
knowledge. (Note: There are for more than 150,000 illegal
immigrants in Italy. (End note) In the past three years,
Italy and Nigeria have cooperated to repatriate over 1,300
such persons. While many of them went to Italy willingly,
others were forced or duped by family members or criminal
gangs or driven by dire economic conditions into the
international sex industry. Other significant receiving
countries for trafficked Nigerians include the Netherlands,
the Czech Republic, Spain and France. In one particularly
glaring example of this trade, a Dutch court convicted the
former Ambassador of the Netherlands to Nigeria in December
1999 for having provided visas to Nigerian women allegedly
to engage in the commercial sex trade.


C. HAVE THERE BEEN ANY CHANGES IN THE DIRECTION OR EXTENT
OF TRAFFICKING?


C. Fewer trafficking syndicates appear to use air routes
for trafficking females to Europe, opting instead for the
more circuitous but safer land routes through West Africa
and the Sahara. This appears to be the result of improved
interdiction efforts by airlines, European diplomatic
missions in Nigeria, and immigration authorities at
European airports.


D. ARE ANY EFFORTS OR SURVEYS PLANNED OR UNDERWAY TO
DOCUMENT THE EXTENT AND NATURE OF TRAFFICKING IN THE
COUNTRY? IS ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AVAILABLE FROM SUCH
REPORTS OR SURVEYS THAT WAS NOT AVAILABLE LAST YEAR?


D. The ILO's International Program for the Elimination of
Child Labor (IPEC) has conducted a regional study of child
trafficking patterns in eight West African countries. This
study, part of a $4.3 million regional anti-trafficking
project funded by USDOL, is available on the internet at
www.ilo.org and, along with a similar study produced by
UNICEF (available at www.unicef.org) is an excellent
resource aid. The International Organization of Migration
(IOM) has funded a study by the University of Benin (Edo
State, Nigeria) to ascertain the extent of the problem in
Nigeria, but the report remains unpublished. IOM's
Regional office in Dakar hopes to have the report completed
by mid-2002. This report may contain the most comprehensive
data on trafficking within the country.


E. IF THE COUNTRY IS A DESTINATION POINT FOR TRAFFICKED
VICTIMS: WHAT KIND OF CONDITIONS ARE THE VICTIMS
TRAFFICKED INTO? ARE THEY FORCED TO WORK IN SWEATSHOPS,
AGRICULTURE, RESTAURANTS, CONSTRUCTION SITES, PROSTITUTION,
NUDE DANCING, DOMESTIC SERVITUDE, BEGGING OR OTHER FORMS OF
LABOR OR SERVICES? WHAT METHODS ARE USED TO ENSURE
COMPLIANCE? ARE THE VICTIMS SUBJECT TO VIOLENCE, THREATS,
WITHHOLDING OF THEIR DOCUMENTS, ETC?


E. Most trafficked victims arriving in Nigeria are young
children from neighboring states. Girls are usually placed
in homes as domestic servants; most boys become
agricultural laborers. Some of the children involved in
this trade are incorporated into households, working as
"wards." A smaller number may be used to hawk goods on
street corners or to beg. Fear of physical punishment,
language barriers, and traditional religious practices are
used to control victims. In countries such as Nigeria
where animism is still practiced by many, the belief in
voodoo curses and oaths has considerable effect on
silencing children.


F. IF THE COUNTRY IS A COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: WHICH
POPULATIONS ARE TARGETED BY THE TRAFFICKERS? WHO ARE THE
TRAFFICKERS? WHAT METHODS ARE USED TO APPROACH VICTIMS?
(ARE THEY OFFERED LUCRATIVE JOBS, SOLD BY THEIR FAMILIES,
APPROACHED BY FRIENDS OF FRIENDS, ETC?)


F. Traffickers mostly target young women for the
international sex trade, but some are also used as drug
couriers. Edo State has gained a reputation (deserved) as
the main supplier of international prostitutes for Italy.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that Edo indigenes began
migrating to Italy for employment as migrant farm laborers
several decades ago. These laborers began facilitating the
travel of other Edo residents to Italy for work. Some of
these individuals became involved with drug trafficking and
other criminal activities. In the 1980s and 1990s Nigerian
criminal networks, primarily in Turin and Milan, began
facilitating travel of young women for prostitution.
Ironically, many traffickers are former victims who have
paid off their madams and began recruiting girls from their
home areas to Italy. Human Rights Watch indicates that
many young women claim they are told they will be
performing work other than prostitution and then are forced
into the sex trade once abroad. However, local reports
indicate that many young women know they will be in the sex
trade. What most do not know are the horrendous conditions
they will encounter. Many will not be paid the salaries
promised, many are forced into indentured servitude to pay
off smuggling fees ranging as high as USD 50,000 and most
are subject to physical and sexual abuse to keep them from
alerting foreign law enforcement authorities. Traffickers
often use family pressure to ensure the victims'
participation. Nigerian crime syndicates may use
indebtedness, threats of beatings and/or rape, physical
injury to the victim's family, arrest and deportation to
persuade those forced into a life of servitude from
attempting to escape. Many trafficking victims are forced
to undergo ritual cultural oaths of secrecy or are swayed
with charms. Because belief in traditional religions is
still maintained by a number of Nigerians, even those
practicing Christianity or Islam, those "voodoo" rituals
can keep many victims from contacting authorities about
their abuse.


G. IS THERE POLITICAL WILL AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF
GOVERNMENT TO COMBAT TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS? IS THE
GOVERNMENT MAKING A GOOD FAITH EFFORT TO SERIOUSLY ADDRESS,
TRAFFICKING? IN BROAD TERMS, WHAT RESOURCES IS THE HOST
GOVERNMENT DEVOTING TO COMBAT TRAFFICKING IN PEROSNS (IN
TERMS OF PREVENTION, PROTECTION, PROSECUTION)?


G. Over the past year, the Government of Nigeria has
demonstrated increased political will to fight trafficking
in persons. President Obasanjo recognizes this crime as a
threat to Nigeria and speaks out against it frequently.
That said, however, the federal government continues to
devote inadequate resources to the fight against
trafficking in persons. In 1999 the Government funded the
establishment of a modest Police Anti-TIP Task Force in
Lagos to assist with the repatriation of trafficked victims
and to build criminal cases against suspected traffickers.
In 2002 the Government established an inter-ministerial
Committee to Address TIP but this committee lacks its own
budget and oversees no programs. Government programs for
health, education and general social development, while not
earmarked to address trafficking per se, do help address
indirectly some of the factors contributing to trafficking.


H. DO GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITIES OR INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF
GOVERNMENT FORCES FACILITATE TRAFFICKING, CONDONE
TRAFFICKING OR OTHERWISE COMPLICIT IN SUCH ACTIVITIES? IF
SO, AT WHAT LEVELS? DO GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES (SUCH AS
CUSTOMS, BORDER GUARDS, IMMIGRATION OFFICIALS, LOCAL POLICE
OR OTHERS) RECEIVE BRIBES FROM TRAFFICKERS OR OTHERWISE
ASSIST IN THEIR OPERATIONS? WHAT PUNITIVE MEASURES, IF
ANY, HAVE BEEN TAKEN AGAINST THOSE INDIVIDUALS COMPLICIT OR
INVOVLED IN TRAFFICKING?


H. There are a few notable crusaders in the Nigerian Police
Force on this issue. They are largely women and are
fighting a lack of political will by and, in some cases,
the active complicity of government officials. The
recently dismissed Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police
Abimbola Ojomo and the head of the Lagos-based task force
against TIP, M.A. Giwa Osagie, demonstrate a personal
commitment to fight traffickers and to aid trafficking
victims. They regularly use personal funds to feed and
care for deportees. At the other end of the spectrum, post
has received credible reports that individual government
officials facilitate or condone trafficking. Corruption is
common in Customs, the National Police Force and
Immigration, where most personnel are underpaid and poorly
trained. Some repatriated TIP victims have alleged the
active participation of Nigerian Immigration officials as a
part of the trafficking syndicates. Returnees have
reported that they were able to board flights to Italy for
a fee ($10,000 to $15,000) without any passport or visa.
Moreover, many women are reportedly trafficked through
neighboring countries using forged travel documents
identifying them as non-Nigerians. Ghana and Guinea serve
as the main transit points using this method. The arrest
of 15 Nigerian traffickers and rescue of 33 Nigerian women
and girls in Conakry in July 2002 revealed the major role
Guinea plays as a transit hub for Nigerian females bound
for Europe. One of the 15 traffickers arrested in this
case is a former chief of police of Edo State.


I. WHAT ARE THE LIMITATIONS ON THE GOVERNMENT'S ABILITY TO
ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM IN PRACTICE? E.G., IS FUNDING FOR
POLICE OR OTHER INSTITUTIONS INADEQUATE? IS OVERALL
CORRUPTION A PROBLEM? DOES THE GOVERNMENT LACK THE
RESOURCES TO AID VICTIMS?


I. The National Police Force, Customs, Immigration, and
other relevant authorities lack financial resources and a
sustained political commitment from the Federal Government
to combat trafficking in persons effectively. As
previously noted, a few female police officers often use
their own resources to pay for travel to neighboring states
for investigations and the upkeep of deportees. Few
officers have been trained to identify and monitor
traffickers. Corruption, endemic in Nigerian society after
decades of misrule and mismanagement by military rulers,
remains one of the GON's most pressing problems. The
government could summon adequate resources to address the
TIP problem, but to date has chosen to allocate resources
to other pressing, and equally distressing, problems facing
the country. Reports from air carriers suggest that most
sex workers travel with authentic documents. False
Nigerian documents can be purchased cheaply and easily and
Italian documents, particularly the residency permit, are
extremely vulnerable to fraud. The Government of Nigeria
has not demonstrated the ability or will to curb fraud in
the issuance of travel documents. Therefore, the onus has
fallen on Italian authorities to control entry. The
Italian and Nigerian governments in 2002 signed a
repatriation agreement but this does not seem to address
the problem of immigration fraud. The Police anti-TIP
Task Force established in 1999 has not realized its plan to
expand its force of 10 officers and sole office in Lagos to
a larger force and offices in Kano, Port Harcourt and Benin
City. The Task Force did benefit, however, from some of
$2.5 million worth of equipment given by the Italian
government to the Nigerian police and immigration service
in 2002.


PARA 24 -- PREVENTION
---------------------


A. DOES THE GOVERNMENT ACKNOWLEDGE THAT TRAFFICKING IS A
PROBLEM IN THAT COUNTRY? IF NO, WHY NOT?


A. The GON acknowledges that trafficking is a problem,
largely because of the negative image that trafficking
generates. However, many GON officials put the
responsibility for addressing the international TIP problem
on destination countries, such as Italy. Some government
officials and even non-governmental organizations blame the
demand for Nigerian prostitutes in Europe for the problem.
The trafficking of women from northern Nigeria to Saudi
Arabia is a growing problem, but officials of the
predominately Muslim states in Nigeria are reluctant to
admit, the existence of an increasing sex trade to Muslim
countries. Nigerian Government officials also do not
openly admit the internal trafficking of children within
Nigeria for forced labor purposes.


B. WHICH GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ARE INVOLVED IN ANTI-
TRAFFICKING EFFORTS?


B. Anti-trafficking efforts are primarily a law enforcement
issue. Police attempts in Nigeria to stem the trafficking
of women include jail sentences and public humiliation. In
April 1999, the federal Criminal Investigation Department
(CID) paraded a group of 47 females and 17 male victims
before the press in Lagos. When a group of 62 undocumented
women were deported in October 1999 from Italy to Nigeria,
they were met by police, local media, their parents and
village chiefs, and promptly arrested. Now such
deportations from Italy are common and the deportees are
not arrested, but rather released after a cursory
screening. Both approaches to handling the deportees
appear ineffective as parents, other relatives and
professional smugglers who force many of these women and
girls into prostitution continue to be motivated by greed.
The absence of punishment for traffickers also encourages
them to continue their criminal activities. Former Deputy
Inspector General Ojomo has participated in several
international conferences on trafficking. At home she is
trying to find sponsors for rehabilitation programs for the
returned prostitutes.


C. ARE THERE OR HAVE THERE BEEN ANTI-TRAFFICKING
INFORMATION OR EDUCATION CAMPAIGNS? IF YES, BRIEFLY
DESCRIBE THE CAMPAIGN(S), INCLUDING THEIR OBJECTIVES AND
EFFECTIVENESS.
C. Wives of national politicians are involved in raising
public awareness and shaping legislation on trafficking.
Titi Abubakar, wife of the Vice-President, sponsored a
three-day workshop on "Trafficking in Women and Child
Labor" in Abuja in October 1999 for NGOs and legislators.
She has since formed a NGO called the "Women Trafficking
and Child Labor Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF)," which is
devoted to raising awareness of the trafficking problem,
providing social services to those affected by trafficking,
and assisting with prevention programs. WOTCLEF in early
2001 sponsored the first Nigerian-hosted Pan-African
conference on Human Trafficking in Abuja. Mrs. Josephine
Anenih, wife of the Minister of Works and Housing, is the
President of the Federation of Women lawyers (FIDA) in Edo
State. She lobbied for the introduction of legislation in
the Edo State House of Assembly that increased the
penalties for individuals engaged in trafficking. Edo
State Governor Lucky Igbinedion signed the law and the Edo
State Assembly passed it in December 2000. According to
Bisi Olateru-Olagberi, Executive Director of the Women's
Consortium of Nigeria (WOCON), public awareness campaigns
have blanketed Edo and other eastern states where most of
the commercial sex workers originate. Notwithstanding
these state level efforts, the lucrative returns from the
international prostitution trade; and prevailing economic
conditions; have combined to greatly lower the stigma
attached to its practiced.


D. DOES THE GOVERNMENT SUPPORT OTHER PROGRAMS TO PREVENT
TRAFFICKING? (E.G. TO PROMOTE WOMEN'S PARTICIPATION IN
ECONOMIC DECISION MAKING OR EFFORTS TO KEEP CHILDREN IN
SCHOOL.) PLEASE EXPLAIN.


D. At the federal level, very little is offered to women
and children as alternatives to trafficking. However,
initiatives in some states have begun recently to provide
options. A majority of the women returned to Nigeria are
ethnic "Binis" hailing from Edo State, the former kingdom
of Benin. Mrs. Eki Igbinedion, wife of the Edo State
Governor, has formed a NGO called "IDIA Renaissance" to
fight prostitution and trafficking and to rehabilitate
repatriated prostitutes. Her programs include the creation
of cottage industries for young girls to sustain themselves
and educational programs to remedy high drop-out rates
among girls aged 15 to 20. In order to discourage families
from putting their daughters into prostitution, Governor
Lucky Igbinedion publishes the names of the returned
prostitutes and their families in the national dailies.
The Edo state government has formed a subcommittee on
women's political affairs in Benin City (Edo's state
capital) to create awareness of the issue, to instill in
parents responsibility toward their children, and to
educate children to the dangers of the trade. Press
reports indicate that the Igbinedions have been threatened
by traffickers for their high-profile exposure of those
involved in the trade. Onari Duke, the wife of the Cross
River state governor, is particularly concerned about the
sale of children by their families in the northern part of
the state during the period just after the holidays, when
families may be financially strapped. Despite the efforts
in these particular states, Bisi Olateru-Olagberi (see para
C above) says funding for shelters that provide housing,
education, job training, and protection from family members
for the repatriated women is the immediate short-term need.
Olateru-Olagberi's organization has done preliminary
research into the problem including a survey of repatriated
women. She also conducts public awareness campaigns and
national workshops.


E. IS THE GOVERNMENT ABLE TO SUPPORT PREVENTION PROGRAMS?
E. Yes, but only to a limited extent. With so many
priorities before it, the GON has not yet focused on a
comprehensive anti-trafficking program. An overall
improvement in Nigeria's badly deteriorated economy and
education system is needed to address the root causes of
Nigeria's TIP problem.
F. WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS,
NOGS, OTHER RELEVANT ORGANIZATIONS AND OTHER ELEMENTS OF
CIVIL SOCIETY ON THE TRAFFICKING ISSUE?


F. The relationship between federal institutions --
executive and legislative -- and non-governmental
organizations varies depending upon the political
affiliations of the NGO. Repeated efforts by NGOs to
introduce anti-TIP legislation in the National Assembly
were thwarted until the Vice-President's wife's NGO,
WOTCLEF, successfully submitted a draft anti-TIP law to the
Assembly in February 2001 (but it has yet to be passed).
The involvement of wives of government officials has made
it increasingly difficult to distinguish between genuine
NGOs and other politically-oriented organizations
established under the banner of anti-TIP work. Established
NGOs with good grass-roots support feel threatened by and
are often out-financed by NGOs created by high-profile
political figures.


G. DOES THE GOVERNMENT ADEQUATELY MONITOR ITS BORDERS?
DOES IT MONITOR IMMIGRATION AND EMIGRATION PATTERNS FOR
EVIDENCE OF TRAFFICKING? DO LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES
RESPOND APPROPRIATELY TO SUCH EVIDENCE?


G. No. For example, Embassy offices have repeatedly
observed small sum payments to Customs and Immigration
officers (the equivalent of 20 cents to one dollar) for
quick passage without paperwork. Four countries border
Nigeria, and illicit traffic of persons and goods can
easily be conducted via unofficial border crossings.
Poorly trained and corrupt immigration officials do not
look for evidence of trafficking nor do they normally
respond adequately when evidence is presented. Stricter
document controls and scrutiny at Murtala Mohammed
International Airport in Lagos have resulted in a shift of
trafficking patterns to take advantage of the country's
porous overland borders and coastal maritime routes. Many
traffickers prefer overland routes through Benin, Togo and
Ghana. Some victims then fly from Accra or Abidjan to
Europe. Others move overland to Conakry for continued
overland travel to the Mediterranean coast and across the
sea to Europe. In addition, Kano's international airport
is becoming a new hub for traffickers, given regular flight
service from this airport to destinations in eastern Africa
and the Middle East. Victims are also being taken overland
through Niger to Morocco and driven through Egypt to the
Middle East and Europe.


H. and K. IS THERE A MECHANISM FOR COORDINATION AND
COMMUNICATION BETWEEN VARIOUS AGENCIES, SUCH AS A MULTI-
AGENCY WORKING GROUP OR A TASK FORCE? DOES THE GOVERNMENT
HAVE AN ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS TASK FORCE? DOES THE
GOVERNMENT HAVE A PUBLIC CORRUPTION TASK FORCE? IS THERE
SOME ENTITY OR PERSONS RESPONSIBLE FOR DEVELOPING ANTI-
TRAFFICKING PROGRAMS WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT?


H. and K. In 2002, the President established an inter-
ministerial committee to coordinate all federal anti-TIP
policies and programs. The committee is chaired by the
Minister of State for Justice and has subcommittees on law
enforcement; prevention efforts, legal reform; and planning
of an international anti-TIP summit. The government has a
police anti-TIP task force and an Independent (answering
only to the President) Anti-Corruption Commission.
President Obasanjo in late 2002 established the position of
Special Assistant to the President on Human Trafficking and
Child Labor and named Michael Mku to that job.


I. DOES THE GOVERNMENT COORDINATE WITH OR PARTICIPATE IN
MULTINATIONAL OR INTERNATIONAL WORKING GROUPS OR EFFORTS TO
PREVENT, MONITOR OR CONTROL TRAFFICKING?


I. The GON continues to participate in regional and
international conferences and forums addressing TIP,
particularly the ECOWAS Experts Meeting in Accra (October
2001) to formulate a regional Plan of Action and ECOWAS
Resolution against TIP and the ECPAT "Stockholm Plus Five"
International anti-TIP conference in Yokohama, Japan
(December 2001). President Obasanjo plans to host an
international Summit on TIP in Abuja in July 2002 to
formulate better regional and international strategies to
prevent, monitor and combat trafficking.


J. DOES THE GOVERNMENT HAVE A NATIONAL PLAN OF ACTION TO
ADDRESS TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS? IF SO, WHICH AGENCIES WERE
INVOLVED IN DEVELOPING IT? WERE NGOS CONSULTED IN THE
PROCESS? WHAT STEPS HAS THE GOVERNMENT TAKEN TO
DISSEMINATE THE ACTION PLAN?


J. The Government does not yet have a national plan of
action to address TIP though the newly constituted Federal
inter-ministerial TIP Committee will work toward this with
the assistance of the USDOL-funded ILO-IPEC program. The
Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health,
Education, Justice and Foreign Affairs are key participants
in this process, which will include the voice of NGOs,
according to the responsible Presidential Advisor.


PARA 25 -- INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS
--------------------------------------------- ---------


A. DOES THE COUNTRY HAVE A LAW SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITING
TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS? IF SO, WHAT IS THE LAW? IF NOT,
UNDER WHAT OTHER LAWS CAN TRAFFICKERS BE PROSECUTED? FOR
EXAMPLE, ARE THERE LAWS AGAINST SLAVERY OR THE EXPLOITATION
OF PROSTITUTION BY MEANS OF COERCION OR FRAUD? ARE THESE
OTHER LAWS BEING USED IN TRAFFICKING CASES? ARE THESE
LAWS, TAKEN TOGETHER, ADEQUATE TO COVER THE FULL SCOPE OF
TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS?


A. No specific federal law exists now. The actions of
state legislatures, such as the Edo State Assembly, to
outlaw trafficking has sparked more interest at the federal
level. The presentation of draft federal anti-TIP
legislation to the National Assembly by WOTCLEF is an
opportunity to correct this weakness. There is renewed
hope, particularly among members of the Women's Affairs
Committee in the National Assembly, that Mrs. Abubakar's
legislation will be successful as Nigeria's criminal code
is undergoing change in this new democracy. The criminal
code applying to southern Nigerian states addresses some
aspects of trafficking, especially that of children, in
chapter 21. Sections 276-279 of the Northern Penal code --
applying to the 17 northern Nigerian states -- forbid
trafficking of females for prostitution or any immoral or
illegal purpose. It should be noted that each of Nigeria's
36 states began updating state laws in 1999. The criminal
code and the penal code may no longer be universally
applicable as new laws or court systems (e.g. Shari
statutes) have supplanted or supplemented older laws. For
example, Edo state recently passed a law specifically aimed
at traffickers of both women and children, and it added
provisions beyond those found in the criminal code.


B. WHAT IS THE PENALTY FOR TRAFFICKERS?


B. There is no federal penalty for trafficking in persons,
given the lack of a federal trafficking law. Under the
criminal code, penalties for trafficking of children
include fines and imprisonment from two to seven years.
Under the penal code, penalties for encouragement of
prostitution for women or children range up to ten years.


C. WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR RAPE OR FORCIBLE SEXUAL
ASSUALT? HOW DO THEY COMPARE TO THE PENALTY FOR
TRAFFICKING?
C. The penal code protects children from sexual abuse
through age 14 and defines all abuse under this age as
rape. The criminal code prohibits the sexual assault or
indecent assault of boys under the age of 14 (Criminal code
Cap. 42, Chapter XXI, S. 216) and girls under the age of 13
(Criminal Code Cap. 42, Ch. XXI, S. 218). Sexual assault
of girls between the ages of 13 to 15 is known as
defilement and is categorized as a misdemeanor offense
(Criminal code Cap. 42, Ch. XXI, S. 221). For conviction
of unlawful carnal knowledge or defilement of girls,
prosecution must take place within two months of the
commission of the offense, and be corroborated by the
testimony of an additional witness. (Comment: few
convictions for sexual assault or defilement of girls are
won -- or even brought before a court -- under these
statutes. The criminal court system can take months if not
years to hear a case. It is extremely difficult for
prosecutors to find a witness to corroborate the victim's
testimony, especially since discussion of sexual issues is
taboo in most areas. End Comment.) Anyone causing or
encouraging female prostitution before age 16 is liable for
imprisonment up to two years (criminal code Cap. 42, Ch.
XXI, S. 222A). Adults and Rape: under the criminal code,
rape is defined as "unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or
girl, without her consent, if the consent is obtained by
force or by other means of threat or intimidation of any
kind, or any fear of harm, or by means of false and
fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act."
The penalty is life imprisonment. A judge may also declare
an additional penalty of "whipping" for a convicted rapist.
Under Section 282 of the Penal Code, the threat of death or
injury, or the use of deceit, must be used for unlawful
carnal knowledge to be considered rape. The Penal Code
provides for a court to determine any length of
imprisonment, including life, for rape. Compared to the
Edo State law against trafficking, and the provisions in
Chapter 21 of the Criminal Code, and provisions in the
Penal Code, Nigerian lawmakers view rape as a much more
serious offense. Unfortunately, few offenders are brought
to book despite these laws.


D. HAS THE GOVERNMENT PROSECUTED ANY CASES AGAINST
TRAFFICKERS? IF YES, PROVIDE NUMBERS OF ARRESTS,
INDICTMENTS, PLEA BARGAINS, FINES AND CONVICTIONS. WHAT
WERE THE PENALTIES ACTUALLY IMPOSED IN EACH CASE? ARE THE
TRAFFICKERS SERVING THE TIME SENTENCED? IF NO, WHY NOT?
PLEASE INDICATE WHETHER THE GOVERNMENT CAN PROVIDE THIS
INFORMATION, AND IF NOT, WHY NOT?


D. There is no federal law against trafficking; therefore,
no cases have been tried.


E. IS THERE ANY INFORMATION OR REPORTS OF WHO IS BEHIND THE
TRAFFICKING? FOR EXAMPLE, ARE THE TRAFFICKERS FREELANCE
OPERATORS, SMALL CRIMINAL GROUPS, AND/OR LARGE
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME SYNDICATES? ARE EMPLOYMENT,
TRAVEL AND TOURISM AGENCIES OR MARRIAGE BROKERS FRONTING
FOR TRAFFICKERS OR CRIME GROUPS TO TRAFFIC INDIVIDUALS?
ARE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS INVOLVED?


E. Few arrests of traffickers are made their strong ties to
traditional rulers, particularly in Edo and eastern states,
and the collusion of family members of the victims impede
law enforcement efforts. As noted earlier, anecdotal
evidence suggests that Edo state-based crime groups control
the traffic in women and girls from that state to Italy and
are involved in other criminal activities such as drug-
trafficking and money-laundering. Moreover, there is
increasing evidence that former victims of trafficking are
involved in the recruitment of young girls for commercial
sex work in Europe. Some law enforcement and government
officials in that state reportedly are involved in the
trade. Travel agencies and employment firms based in the
South-East and South-South frequently advertise bogus
offers of legitimate employment in Europe and even in the
U.S, and are believed to be trafficking fronts.


F. DOES THE GOVERNMENT ACTIVELY INVESTIGATE CASES OF
TRAFFICKING? (AGAIN, THE FOCUS SHOULD BE ON TRAFFICKING
CASES VICE ALIEN SMUGGLING CASES.) DOES THE GOVERNMENT USE
ACTIVE INVESTIGATION TECHNIQUES IN TIP INVESTIGATIONS? TO
THE EXTENT POSSIBLE UNDER DOMESTIC LAW, ARE TECHNIQUES SUCH
AS ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE, UNDERCOVER OPERATIONS, AND
MITIGATED PUNISHMENT OR IMMUNITY FOR COOPERATING SUSPECTS
USED BY THE GOVERNMENT?


F. Interpol and members of the anti-Trafficking Task Force
have minimal resources for investigations and are
preoccupied with repatriating victims to their states of
origin. The task force swings into actions when it
receives notice of imminent deportation of Nigerian TIP
victims from Europe or a trafficker is intercepted at the
border. They begin investigations by interviewing victims,
who generally do not cooperate in providing criminal
evidence against traffickers because of their fear of
trafficker retribution and threats of preternatural curses.
Next, members of the task force will videotape the victims
and travel to their homes for identification purposes and
to contact their families. The deportees are also tested
for HIV/AIDS. Those testing positive are turned over to
the state of origin's commission for health. Electronic
surveillance and undercover operations are techniques used
in the investigation of other criminal activities in
Nigeria but, given the lack of adequate anti-TIP resources,
are not currently employed in Nigeria's law enforcement
response to trafficking. Since few traffickers are
arrested the issue of mitigated punishment or immunity from
prosecution is generally moot.


G. DOES THE GOVERNMENT PROVIDE ANY SPECIALIZED TRAINING FOR
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN HOW TO INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE
INCIDENCES OF TRAFFICKING?


G. The Nigerian Police Force (NPF) will soon receive a
specialized anti-trafficking training program for members
of its anti-TIP Task Force as well as members of the
general police force posted in areas of significant
trafficking activity as part of an IOM project. This
project will also seek to establish an anti-TIP training
module for inclusion in the existing basic training
curriculum for new police recruits.


H. DOES THE GOVERNMENT COOPERATE WITH OTHER GOVERNMENTS IN
THE INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKING CASES? IF
POSSIBLE, CAN POST PROVIDE THE NUMBER OF COOPERATIVE
INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIONS ON TRAFFICKING?


H. Yes, the GON cooperates with other governments on TIP
investigations and prosecutions. Post cannot provide a
specific number of cases, but can point to the July arrest
of 15 Nigerian traffickers in Conakry and the Guinean
government's subsequent extradition of these 15 to Nigeria
-- where they now await trail -- as the most significant
case of international cooperation in 2002.


I. DOES THE GOVERNMENT EXTRADITE PERSONS WO ARE CHARGED
WITH TRAFFICKING IN OTHER COUNTRIES? IF SO, CAN POST
PROVIDE THE NUMBER OF TRAFFICKERS EXTRADITED? DOES THE
GOVERNMENT EXTRADITE ITS OWN NATIONALS CHARGED WITH SUCH
OFFENSES? IF NOT, IS THE GOVERNMENT PROHIBITED BY LAW FROM
EXTRADITING ITS OWN NATIONALS? IF SO, WHAT IS THE
GOVERNMENT DOING TO MODIFY ITS LAWS TO PERMIT THE
EXTRADITION OF NATIONALS?


I. The GON has extradition agreements with a number of
countries, including the U.S. but usually these agreements
have a "dual criminality" requirement -- a person is not
subject to extradition to stand trial for an alleged
offense committed in/against a foreign country unless that
same offense is a crime under Nigerian federal law. Since
trafficking is not a federal crime (yet), traffickers
cannot be extradited for that particular offense, though
they could be extradited for related offenses such as
kidnapping, slavery, and abuse of a minor. Post is unaware
of any such extraditions.
J. and K. IS THERE EVIDENCE OF GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN OR
TOLERANCE OF TRAFFICKING, ON A LOCAL OR INSTITUTIONAL
LEVEL? IF YES, PLEASE EXPLAIN IN DETAIL. IF GOVERNMENT
OFFICIALS ARE INVOLVED IN TRAFFICKING, WHAT STEPS HAS THE
GOVERNMENT TAKEN TO END THEIR PARTICIPATION? HAVE ANY
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS BEEN PROSECUTED FOR INVOLVEMENT IN
TRAFFICKING OR TRAFFICKING-RELATED CORRUPTION? HAVE ANY
BEEN CONVICTED? WHAT ACTUAL SENTENCE WAS IMPOSED?


J. and K. Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Ojomo --
forcibly retired on March 6, 2002 -- claimed to have been
investigating allegations of the collusion of Customs
officials in the illegal trade. Returnees have made
allegations that Nigerian Immigration officials accepted
bribes to look the other way when traffickers take victims
out of the country. There are credible allegations that
some traditional rulers in Edo State have assisted
traffickers and support the recruitment of Bini women into
the international sex trade. Consequently, efforts to
engage local government authorities and traditional rulers
in an awareness campaign frequently run aground because of
leadership acquiescence in or support of human smuggling.
Many of these leaders are themselves sophisticated
criminals who have operated in Edo State for the past 20
years.


L. HAS THE GOVERNMENT SIGNED AND RATIFIED THE FOLLOWING
INTERNATIONAL INSTRUMENTS? PLEASE PROVIDE THE DATE OF
SIGNATURE/RATIFICATION IF APPROPRIATE.


--ILO CONVENTION 182 CONCERNING THE PROHIBITION AND
IMMEDIATE ACTION FOR THE ELIMINATION OF THE WORST FORMS OF
CHILD LABOR.


--SALE OF CHILDREN PROTOCOL SUPPLEMENTING THE RIGHTS OF THE
CHILD CONVENTION (CRC)


-- THE PROTOCOL TO PREVENT, SUPPRESS AND PUNISH TRAFFICKING
IN PERSONS, ESPECIALLY WOMEN AND CHILDREN, SUPPLEMENTING
THE UN CONVENTION AGAINST TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME.


L. The GON signed the ILO's Convention 182 and the Federal
Executive Council has approved ratification and is now
awaiting the National Assembly's approval. The GON signed
the Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution
and Child Pornography (supplementing the CRC) on September
8, 2000 but has not yet ratified it. The GON was the first
African country to sign the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress
and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and
Children (supplementing the UN TOC Convention), signing
this on December 13, 2000 and ratified it on June 28, 2001.


PARA 26 -- PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS
--------------------------------------------- --


A. DOES THE GOVERNMENT ASSIST VICTIMS, FOR EXAMPLE, BY
PROVIDING TEMPORARY TO PERMANENT RESIDENCY STATUS, RELIEF
FROM DEPORTATION, SHELTER AND ACCESS TO LEGAL, MEDICAL AND
PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES? IF YES, PLEASE EXPLAIN. ARE THE
RIGHTS OF VICTIMS RESPECTED, OR ARE THEY ALSO TREATED AS
CRIMINALS? DOES THE COUNTRY HAVE VICTIM CARE AND VICTIM
HEALTH CARE FACILITIES? IF SO, CAN POST PROVIDE THE NUMBER
OF VICTIMS PLACED IN THESE CARE FACILITIES?


A. There are no clear established policies to deal with
persons trafficked to Nigeria and all regular laws apply.
For trafficked victims returned to Nigeria, social services
for resettlement are provided by a very small number of
financially-strapped NGOs, not the government. The Italian
government has provided USD 800,000 to the IOM for
assistance to women and girls repatriated to Nigeria and to
provide medical aid for returnees with HIV/AIDS. Another
USD one million has been provided by the Italian government
for preventative medical programs discouraging the spread
of HIV/AIDS in the country. On the other hand, there have
been sporadic attempts by the GON over the past two years
to "parade" returned victims before the media to discourage
cooperation with traffickers. Media reports have carried
estimates of the number of those infected by HIV/AIDS in
these reports. While it may serve as a deterrent to some
potential victims, this campaign does not provide any
assistance to those already victimized by the illicit
trade.
B. DOES THE GOVERNMENT PROVIDE FUNDING OR OTHER FORMS OF
SUPPORT TO FOREIGN OR DOMESTIC NGOS FOR SERVICES TO
VICTIMS? PLEASE EXPLAIN.


B. According to the new Presidential Assistant on Human
Trafficking and Child Labor, the federal government,
through the Inter-ministerial Committee Against Trafficking
in Persons, will provide, in the coming year, funding to
NGOs such as the National Council for Women Societies and
the Women Trafficking and Child Labor Eradication
Foundation (WOTCLEF), the Child Welfare League of Nigeria
(CWLN) and IDIA Renaissance to better assist returned
Nigerian victims of trafficking.


C. ARE VICTIMS DETAINED, JAILED, FINED, OR DEPORTED? IF
DETAINED OR JAILED, FOR HOW LONG? ARE VICTIMS PROSECUTED
FOR VIOLATIONS OF OTHER LAWS, SUCH AS THOSE GOVERNING
IMMIGRATION OR PROSTITUTION?


C. Victims who are returned from other countries, such as
Italy, are currently subjected to confinement, sometimes in
cramped facilities along with criminals for varying periods
of time. Victims repatriated to Nigeria are also subjected
to mandatory testing for HIV/AIDS and other sexually
transmitted diseases before released from police custody.
These repatriated trafficking victims are seldom prosecuted
for violations of other laws such as immigration or
prostitution offenses.


D. DOES THE GOVERNMENT ENCOURAGE VICTIMS TO ASSIST IN THE
INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKING? MAY VICTIMS
FILE CIVIL SUITS OR SEEK LEGAL ACTION AGAINST THE
TRAFFICKERS? DOES ANYONE IMPEDE THE VICTIMS' ACCESS TO
SUCH LEGAL REDRESS? IF A VICTIM IS A MATERIAL WITNESS IN A
COURT CASE AGAINST THE FORMER EMPLOYER, IS THE VICTIM
PERMITTED TO OBTAIN OTHER EMPLOYMENT OR TO LEAVE THE
COUNTRY? IS THERE A VICTIM RESTITUTION PROGRAM?


D. The Police Anti-TIP Task Force encourages repatriated
victims to provide testimony for the prosecution of
Nigeria-based traffickers, but rarely receives adequate
evidence as many women and girls have been threatened by
traffickers, often through voodoo or juju, of they
cooperate with law enforcement. There is no witness
restitution program in Nigeria, though witnesses could seek
legal action against traffickers through civil suits
(though no such suits are known). Given the lack of a
federal trafficking law and the paucity of related criminal
investigations, it is not known if victims who cooperate in
an criminal investigation as a material witness are
permitted to obtain other employment or leave the country.


E. WHAT KIND OF PROTECTIONS IS GOVERNMENT ABLE TO PROVIDE
FOR VICTIMS AND WITNESSES? DOES IT PROVIDE THESE
PROTECTIONS IN PRACTICE?


E. No victim or witness protection is currently available,
though, as mentioned earlier, the federal government is
planning to establish long-term care and vocational
training facilities for returned victims. Also, witness
protection measures are being considered as part of the
draft TIP law now being considered by the National
Assembly.


F. DOES THE GOVERNMENT PROVIDE ANY SPECIALIZED TRAINING FOR
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN THE PROVISION OF ASSISTANCE TO
TRAFFICKED VICTIMS, INCLUDING THE SPECIAL NEEDS OF
TRAFFICKED CHILDREN? DOES THE GOVERNMENT PROVIDE TRAINING
ON PROTECTIONS AND ASSISTANCE TO ITS EMBASSIES AND
CONSULATES IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES THAT ARE DESTINATION OR
TRANIST COUNTRIES? DOES IT URGE THOSE EMBASSIES AND
CONSULATES TO DEVELOP ONGOING RELATIONSHIPS WITH NGOS THAT
SERVE TRAFFICKED VICTIMS?


F. Italy is by far the greatest destination for Nigerians
trafficked abroad. The government of Nigeria has stationed
a consular officer at its embassy in Rome to assist
Nigerian trafficking victims arrested or rescued by Italian
police and to facilitate their repatriation to Nigeria.
The Nigerian Embassy in Rome works closely with Italian
police, immigration and Carbineri and coordinates shelter
care for Nigerian trafficking victims with Catholic NGOs
such as Caritas. Training of the Nigerian Embassy consular
officer and others, such as the members of the NPF anti-TIP
Task Force in Lagos, appears informal and minimal, though
the IOM project mentioned earlier plans to provide a formal
training regime for the Police.


G. DOES THE GOVERNMENT PROVIDE ASSISTANCE, SUCH AS MEDICAL
AID, SHELTER, OR FINANCIAL HELP, TO ITS REPATRIATED
NATIONALS WHO ARE VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING?


G. The government, in the form of the Police Anti-TIP Task
Force, provides limited short-term shelter for victims of
trafficking returned to Nigeria. It has no provisions,
however, for longer-term medical care or rehabilitation of
these trafficking victims. President Obasanjo's new
Special Assistant on Human Trafficking and Child Labor is,
however, planning to coordinate the establishment of long-
term shelters and vocational training centers for TIP
victims in Lagos and Abuja in the coming year. Currently
victims who test positive for HIV/AIDS at the Police short-
term shelter in Lagos are turned over to the health
commissions of their state of origin for follow-on
treatment and counseling.


H. WHICH NGOS, IF ANY, WORK WITH TRAFFICKING VICTIMS? WHAT
TYPES OF SERVICES DO THEY PROVIDE? WHAT SORT OF
COOPERATION DO THEY RECEIVE FROM LOCAL AUTHORITIES? NOTE:
IF POST REPORTS THAT A GOVERNMENT IS INCAPABLE OF ASSISTING
AND PROTECTING TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS VICTIMS, THEN POST
SHOULD EXPLAIN THOROUGHLY. FUNDING, PERSONNEL, AND
TRAINING CONSTRAINTS SHOULD BE NOTED, IF APPLICABLE.
CONVERSELY, A LACK OF POLITICAL WILL TO ADDRESS SHOULD BE
NOTED AS WELL.


H. There are several NGOs active on the anti-TIP front,
including Mrs. Igbinedion's IDIA Renaissance, the Women's
Consortium of Nigeria (WOCON) and the Women Trafficking and
Child Labor Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF). There is
also a newly-created alliance of 12 NGOs to address
trafficking -- the National Coalition Against Trafficking
in Persons (NACATIP). These groups, particularly IDIA
Renaissance in Edo State, provide long-term comprehensive
assistance to trafficking victims, though this receives no
federal funding. The stated commitment of President
Obasanjo to the fight against TIP has not yet yielded funds
for these local efforts to help trafficking victims.


POINT OF CONTACT
----------------


Post's point of contact on Anti-Trafficking in Persons
issues is Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (NLEA)
officer Mark Taylor; telephone: 234-9-523-0916, 523-8001,
523-0960 or 234-9-413-1867 or 234-80340-21471 (mobile).


ANDREWS

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