According to IOM, approximately 11,000 women arrived via the Mediterranean Sea in Italy from Nigeria in 2016 alone – an increase from 1,454 in 2014 – who would likely be forced into sex trafficking. In 2017, 18,000 Nigerian migrants were recorded to have arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean (UNHCR, 2018). As of 2019, UNDP reported that 17% (largest population) of all migrants to Europe from Africa was from Nigeria. The increase in mobility across the globe manifesting in irregular migration and human trafficking had been largely linked to several drivers such as greed and poverty. UNDP (2019) reports that among the returning migrants interviewed in a particular state in Nigeria, 53% had financial help before they travelled. This only suggests underlying unchecked greed. Human trafficking thus remains a significant source of threat to human, national and international security. As UNDP highlights, 93% of irregular migrants’ experience danger during the journey. Nigeria remains a source, transit and destination country for human trafficking, with 65% of the cases happening internally and 35% externally.
The Federal Government of Nigeria, a signatory to the 2000 United Nations Convention on Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC) and its Protocol to Suppress, Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, established the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in 2003 through an Act of the National Assembly- Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act (TIPPEA), 2003 (as amended) in fulfilment of Nigeria’s international obligation under the Protocol to adopt and review measures to curb the enormity of the crime of trafficking in persons. Nigeria adopted a multi-sectoral response and an all-inclusive approach, to strengthen the policy framework and response to Human Trafficking by designing its first National Action Plan on Human Trafficking in Nigeria (2009 – 2012). Pursuant to this, a National Technical Committee was set up in 2006, comprising experts from state and non-state actors to develop, in line with UNTOC and its Protocol, a National Plan; integrate existing and emerging challenges of trafficking in persons into the National Plan in line with the 4 Priorities of NAPTIP’s Strategy; and formulate strategies and mobilize resources for its implementation in collaboration with partners.