Human trafficking: U.S. Report indicts Nigerian Govt.

Posted by News Express | 20 June 2013 | 4,229 times

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A Report by the Government of the United States of America focusing on international human trafficking has indicted the Goodluck Jonathan administration for failing to “fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.” The report released yesterday in Washington, D.C. by U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, however admitted that Abuja “is making significant efforts” in this regard.

Nigeria remained in Tier 2 status in the Department of State’s Annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report “because the Government of Nigeria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but is making significant efforts to do so,” report said.

According to the 2013 TIP, “The Government of Nigeria slightly increased its efforts to protect trafficking victims during the year. The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP) received a slight increase in funding in 2012.

NAPTIP made improvements in its anti-TIP efforts over the last reporting period, including a modest increase in anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts and the provision of specialized anti-trafficking training for its officials. NAPTIP’s Public Enlightenment Unit continued to conduct national and local programming through radio and print media in all regions of the country to raise awareness about trafficking, including warning about fraudulent recruitment for jobs abroad. 

“It is important to note, however, that the TIP Report does not simply measure the efforts of NAPTIP as an agency, but rather the Government of Nigeria as whole. Despite the notable efforts of NAPTIP, the government has not yet satisfied all the minimum standards set forth in the 2000 Trafficking Victims Protection Act, as amended (TVPA) to justify an upgrade to Tier 1. For example, the government has yet to pass draft legislation that would restrict the ability of judges to offer fines in lieu of prison time during sentencing, and the Nigerian Police Force continues to experience difficulty identifying trafficking victims. Additionally, the Ministry of Labor did not make any new efforts to address labor trafficking during the reporting period, despite the identification of a significant number of labor trafficking victims.”

The report urged the Nigerian Government “among other remedial measures, to ensure NAPTIP receives sufficient funding; to take proactive measures to investigate and prosecute government officials suspected of trafficking-related corruption and complicity in trafficking offenses; and to train police and immigration officials to identify trafficking victims.”

•Photo shows President Jonathan at work.

Source: News Express

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