Understanding Human Trafficking
1. What is human trafficking?
Human trafficking is a crime involving the exploitation of someone for the purposes of compelled labor or a commercial sex act through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. It occurs when a trafficker uses force, fraud, or coercion to compel another person to provide labor and services or engage in a commercial sex act.
According to United Nations, "Trafficking in persons" shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring 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. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs;”
- Internal human trafficking involves from rural to urban or from urban to urban
- External human trafficking involves from a country to another country.
According to Global Slavery Index, over 45 million people are living in modern slavery globally, and 1, 386 000 Nigerian are victims of human trafficking. Globally, human trafficking earns profits of roughly $150 billion a year for traffickers, according to the ILO report-2014.
In 2003, the Federal Government of Nigerian establishing National Agency For Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) tackle human trafficking and other related matters in Nigeria. NAPTIP is one of the agencies under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Justice. NAPTIP was established under the federal bill on July 14, 2003 by the Trafficking in Persons(Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act (2003).
Nigerian victims of human trafficking are trafficked within Nigerian cities and communities, as well as outside the boundaries of Nigeria. Every state in Nigeria is affected by human trafficking.
Victim are trafficked for the following reasons:
2. Sexual Trafficking:
Sex trafficking is the recruitment, habouring or movement of people especially women, girls and children with force, deception or fake promise for the purpose of sexual slavery, sex services or other forms of sexual exploitation. The victims of sex trafficking are used for prostitution and escort services, pornography, stripping and exotic dancing, massage palours, sexual services publicized on the internet or in newspaper, restaurants, bars, etc.
3. Labour Trafficking
Labour trafficking includes the following:
a. Child labour refer to the employment of children in any work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful. Child labour includes: children engaged in agricultural labour, in mining, in manufacturing, in domestic service, construction, scavenging and begging on the streets. These children typically work long hours and for little or no pay.
b. Forced labour refers to situations in which persons are coerced to work through the use of violence or intimidation or by more subtle means such as accumulated debt, retention of identity papers or threat of denunciation to immigration authorities.
c. Bonded labour, also known as debt bondage, is a form of human trafficking that involves the trafficker recruiting the victims as a way to pay off debt.
Exploitation through Apprenticeship: This is a form of labour trafficking, prevalent in the south-eastern Nigeria, which has often been neglected. Though, apprenticeship is not exploitation, but there are instances where businessmen/traders (known as Oga) can use it to deceive and exploit young boys. This happens when a boy’s family agrees with the master for the child to serve and learn trade from a businessman (the master or Oga) for either 8, 10, 12 or more years, and at the end of the service, the master will empower him with resources to establish his own business. In addition to learning trade the boy cooks, washes master's and madam's, including children clothes, sleeps on the floor when everyone has slept, eats only when everyone has eaten. However, when the boy (young man) is rounding-up his 10 or 12 years of service, the master will allege that he was stubborn, stealing, and irresponsible, and refuses establish him, and then finally pushes him out of the business.
4. Organ Harvesting
Organ trafficking is the recruitment, transport, transfer, harboring or receipt of living or deceased persons by the use of force, threat, abduction, of fraud, of deception, coercion, fake promises, and disguise to: Request for a person's organ, harvest the organ or make people donate their organ, either for financial gain or any other reason. The organs can be kidney, liver, heart, or any other parts of the body.
According to the un gift hub, organ trafficking falls into three categories:
- Traffickers who trick the victim into giving up an organ for no cost;
- Those who convince victims to sell their organs, but who do not pay or who pay less than they agreed to pay;
- Doctors who treat people for ailments which may or may not exist and remove the organs without the victim's knowledge.
According to the World Health Organization, around one in ten organ transplants involve a trafficked human organ, which amounts to around 10,000 each year. Kidneys are the most commonly traded organ
5. Child Soldier/Suicide Bombing
Trafficking for suicide bombing is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, especially girls by means of 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 the giving or receiving of payments for the purpose of using them for suiciding bombing or as child soldiers. In Nigeria, and other countries, children are kidnapped or coerced to be suicide bombers. In 2015, over 200 school girls were kidnapped, and some of them were used for suicide bombing
6. Child/Forced Marriage
Trafficking for Forced Marriage is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, especially girls by means of 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 the giving or receiving of payments for the purpose of marriage.
7. Baby Factory
There are occasions where young girls and mothers are coerced or paid to fall pregnant and give birth in the factory, known as Baby Factory. There are recent cases where women are either trafficked or paid to stay in a secluded place, get pregnant and thereafter their babies are taken away from them. The babies are either sold to desperate couples or adoptive parents or used for rituals. Some of the girls/women who are forcefully taken to baby factory live in squalid condition without adequate pre and post-natal treatment. The conditions in the factory are unhygienic and totally unsuitable for child birth and the babies.
8. Trafficking for Rituals
Trafficking for rituals involves the removal of body parts including skulls, hearts, eyes and genitals which are sold and used by deviant practitioners to increase wealth, influence, health or fertility. Most often, victims are kidnapped or deceitfully transported to another location before they are killed, and for that reason this form of ritual killing constitutes human trafficking
9. Trafficking for Football
Victims of human trafficking, especially boys, are trafficked through illegal football academies or other means, with a promise of playing in foreign football clubs. Young footballers are trafficked out of Africa every year. Most are taken to Europe in the belief that it will be the first step in their journey to earning a lucrative contract as a professional footballer. Some of these boys are minors. Often times, they are promised trials with major clubs or guaranteed a contract. In reality, most of them have been conned by scheming agents and middlemen, intent on cashing-in on the dreams of some of the world's poorest and most desperate people. In West Africa, there are unlicensed, unregulated football academies, greedy coaches, agents, and foreign middle-men who are preying on young or underage footballers.
10. Trafficking for Begging
Some of the children who are trafficked are forced to beg in the streets, and most times made to steal for the captors. Child begging may sound innocuous, but many of these children are subjected to extreme abuse, including mutilation to make them more easily pitied, and thus better potential earners. They may be disfigured by having an eye gouged out, a limb amputated, or being otherwise visibly scarred. Most children are bought or kidnapped, then forced to beg or pick pockets on the streets under threat of beatings.
11. Domestic Servitude (housemaids)
According to BC Justice system, trafficking for domestic servitude covers a range of situations, all of which share certain features: subjugation, intimidation and an obligation to provide work for a private individual, excessively low or no salary, few or no days off, psychological and/or physical violence, limited or restricted freedom of movement, denial of a minimum level of privacy and health care. Most domestic servants are exploited for their labour in private homes. Most are required to clean the house, do the laundry, cook meals, maintain the lawns and gardens and look after the children, elderly relatives and pets.
Treating a housemaid as a slave is a human rights abuse. The issue of housemaid is a labour matter, which traffickers use to exploit their victims. It can occur when an exploiter takes someone's daughter/son with a promise to take care of her, and send her to school, but end up restricting her from going to school, subjects her to house chores, and denying her freedom of expression, movement, etc