Tuesday, 25 February 2014
Trafficking In Persons: Nigeria Not Doing Enough, US Says
The United States says the Government of Nigeria is still failing to comply fully with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking,
In the 2013 annual report released yesterday by Secretary of State John Kerry, the U.S. noted slight increases in Nigeria’s efforts, including a modest increase in funding of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP) in 2012.
But it made a clear distinction between the efforts of NATPIP and the commitment of the government of Nigeria.
“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,” the report said. “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.”
It explained that the government of Nigeria has been urged, 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.
“Countries determined to be a country of origin, transit, or destination for at least two victims of severe forms of trafficking are included in the Report and assigned to one of three tiers. Countries assessed as fully complying with the “minimum standards for the elimination of severe forms of trafficking” set forth in the TVPA are classified as Tier 1. Countries assessed as not fully complying with the minimum standards, but making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those minimum standards are classified as Tier 2. Countries assessed as neither complying with the minimum standards nor making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance are classified as Tier 3.”
The report can be read in full at the U.S. Embassy’s website: http://nigeria.usembassy.gov