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Country Profile

Action Plan on Trafficking in Persons – Smuggling of Migrants

The entities responsible for implementing the Action Plan include NAPTIP, the Nigeria Immigration Service, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, the Ministry of Education, and international and civil society organizations.

  • The National Action Plan Against Human Trafficking 2008-2012 was developed to strengthen NAPTIP’s response in the areas of prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership as well as in research and assessment.

  • The NAPTIP strategic plan 2012-2017 was adopted to bridge the gap created upon the expiration of the NAP.

  • A new National Action Plan and Strategic Plan are in process of being developed.

  • National policy on protection and assistance to trafficked persons in Nigeria.

Related Action Plans

  • Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act mandates that NAPTIP prosecute all cases of violence against persons in the Federal Capital Territory. The act also requires NAPTIP to keep a sexual offenders register. The register can be accessed at the NAPTIP- Reports and Downloads website

  • The draft Nigeria Child Labour Policy and related draft National Action Plan were prepared in 2005-2006 but have never been officially adopted. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Labour reports that components of the draft National Child Labour Policy are being implemented.

Institutional Framework

The institution/s responsible for identifying Victims of Trafficking (VOT)

The identification is generally done by various actors such as:

  • NGOs, law enforcement state agencies, NAPTIP, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), social workers, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, medical and health facility operators.

  • While NAPTIP has the core mandate to address trafficking issues in Nigeria, the Nigeria Immigration Service, as the first point of contact at Points of Entry (PoE), identifies VOTs at the border and then refers them to NAPTIP for further investigation and possible prosecution of traffickers where necessary. The traffickers within the country are identified primarily by NAPTIP and NIS according to the case.

Agencies Responsible for Border Management

Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS)

NIS has the core mandate in Nigeria for control of persons entering or leaving Nigeria as well as border surveillance and patrol.

NIS is responsible for:

  • The control of persons entering or leaving Nigeria

  • The issuance of travel documents to bona fide Nigerians in and outside Nigeria

  • The issuance of residence permits to foreigner nationals in Nigeria

  • Border surveillance and patrol

  • Enforcement of laws and regulations with which it has been directly charged

National Actors Addressing Smuggling of Migrants

NIS is responsible for addressing smuggling of migrants, while NAPTIP is responsible for addressing trafficking in persons (Immigration Act 2015 as amended).

The roles and responsibilities of NIS on SOM include the following:

  • Coordinate and enforce any law relating to smuggling of migrants and related offences

  • Prevention, eradication/elimination of smuggling of migrants and related offences, including coordinated preventive and regulatory actions, introduction and maintenance of investigative and control techniques on the prevention of smuggling of migrants

  • Education and advocacy through public awareness campaigns on the dangers of smuggling of migrants and on promoting safe migration

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and NAPTIP collaborate with the NIS in addressing migrant smuggling.

National Coordinating Bodies

Nigeria has two main coordination committees with respective areas and responsibilities.


NAPTIP is the federal government agency charged with coordinating all the nation’s crime prevention and law enforcement resources to stamp out human trafficking and uplift the vulnerable from exploitation. Empowered by the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act (2015), the agency exercises the functions of enforcement and administration of the provisions of the TIPPEA Act 2015 as stipulated by section 5 (a-u) of the re-enacted Act.

NAPTIP membership: The State Emergency Management Agency, the National Emergency Management Agency, the NIS, the Ministry of Justice, the Department of State and Security, NSCDC, NPF, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development , the Federal Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, Nelwa Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria, Nigerian Bar Association, religious leaders’ representative, Gender Base Violence Sub Sector, Child Protection Sub Sector, representative from the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) working group, representative from the Camp Coordination and Camp Management sector, UNICEF, National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), INGO Forum Representative, UNHCR, IOM, Heartland Alliance International, UN Women, Network of Civil Society of Borno State. 

Under NAPTIP, the Borno State Anti-Trafficking Task Force (Emergency Settings) brings stakeholders together to work collaboratively and in a coherent manner to combat TIP through strengthening their capacity to prevent, mitigate, and respond to TIP by drawing upon the comparative advantages of all the stakeholders.


After due examination of the mandate, objectives, and functions of the NIS and taking into consideration the new Immigration Regulations 2017 as well as the expanding challenges confronting the service in the face of rising cross-border immigration violations, need for control of entry and monitoring of migrants, and transnational crimes, the NIS has been restructured into eight directorates and seven units.

The NIS coordinates the SOM actions with NAPTIP, NPF, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Directorate of State Security (DSS), the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS), the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the Federal Ministry of Justice (FMoJ), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC), the Network of Civil Society Organization Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL), the Edo State Task Force Against Human Trafficking (ETAHT), the National Commission for Refugee, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment (FML&E).

Specialized Units - Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM)

NAPTIP is considered a specialized agency in charge of TIP in Nigeria.

The functions of the Agency are to:

  • Enforce and administer the provisions of Trafficking In Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act in 2015.

  • Coordinate and enforce all other laws on trafficking in persons and related offences

  • Adopt effective measures for the prevention and eradication of trafficking in persons and related offences

  • Establish coordinated preventive, regulatory, and investigatory machinery geared towards the eradication of trafficking in persons

  • Investigate all cases of trafficking in persons including forced labour, child labour, forced prostitution, exploitative labour and other forms of exploitation, slavery-like activities, bonded labour, removal of organs, illegal smuggling of migrants, and the sale and purchase of persons

  • Encourage and facilitate the availability and participation of persons who voluntarily consent to assist in investigations or proceedings relating to trafficking in persons and related offences


General Information

Nigeria is a source, transit, and destination country for individuals subjected to trafficking in persons. Trafficked Nigerian women and children are recruited from rural areas within the country’s borders—women and girls for involuntary domestic servitude and sexual exploitation, and boys for forced labour in street vending, domestic servitude, mining, and begging. Most victims, particularly women and children, are taken from Nigeria to other West and Central African countries, primarily Gabon, Cameroon, Ghana, Chad, Benin, Togo, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Gambia. Children from West African states like Benin, Togo, and Ghana—where Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) rules allow for easy entry—are often forced to work in Nigeria. Nigerian women and girls are taken to Europe, especially to France Italy, Spain, Austria, and Russia, and to the Middle East and North Africa, for forced prostitution. Historically, the majority of Nigerian trafficking victims in Europe have come from Edo State, via Libya; however, French authorities reported an increasing number of Nigerian trafficking victims originating from northern states. Nigerians are exploited in Libya—by both Libyans and Nigerians—in forced labour in construction, agriculture, and commercial sex in Tripoli, Sabha, Benghazi, and Misrata. Lured by the promise of reaching Europe, traffickers keep victims in “control houses” or “prostitution camps” located on the outskirts of Tripoli and Misrata until they can repay travel debts.

Main Trends and Figures

Between 2018 and 2019, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) investigated 943 cases, concluded 210 investigations, prosecuted 64 suspects and convicted 27 traffickers. These numbers mark a slight increase in cases from the previous year when NAPTIP received 938 cases to investigate, conducted 192 investigations, prosecuted 64 suspects, and convicted 43 traffickers.

Emerging trends in the areas of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants include: There has been an increase of trafficking of females aged 25 and 35 to the Middle East for domestic servitude and various forms of exploitation (sexual and labour). There has also been an increase of children being exploited through labour (nationally and externally). Recruitment of underage children for street hawking (especially in the Northeast of the country) has become more prominent. Several cases of victims of “baby factories” have been identified: this phenomenon is the third most common crime in Nigeria.


Existing Mechanisms

Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrant (SOM) Hotlines

TIP/SOM- 0800 225 562 7847   --- 0800 CALL NAPTIP *

Others (Children protection/assistance)- 0800 800 8001**

*This is a toll-free hotline. The NAPTIP office can be reached at +234 07 03 00 00 203 or email at

**This is a hotline run by the Cece Yara Foundation

  • The gender-based violence and child protection subsectors have in place functioning referral pathways and list of helpline numbers below find links:

  • Gender-based violence area specific referral pathway19

  • COVID 19 gender-based violence response pathways20

  • Child protection referral pathways

Person can also call NIS: +234 708 060 7900 and +234 811 975 3844.21

Measures to Detect Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) Cases Along the Borders

NAPTIP works with NIS and the Joint Border Task Force (JBTF) to detect cases of TIP at the borders. JBTF works with the British National Crime Agency from the Lagos, Benin, and Kano Airports as well as Heathrow and Gatwick. JBTF is composed of officers from NAPTIP, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

  • NIS has the core mandate to facilitate entry and exit of persons in Nigeria.

  • As part of the measures taken by NIS to detect cases of SOM, NIS in collaboration with IOM, with funding from various international donors, is equipping various points of entry with Border Management Information Systems (BMIS) for processing of all travelers. It is also integrating border management data into the main database of borders movements and into the overall NIS migration database, including linkages with the national watch list and INTERPOL-24/7.

  • NIS in collaboration with IOM and relevant partners are currently identifying measures to ensure that officers are trained on profiling migrants and that strategies are put in place at the borders through the use of intelligence gathering. Local border communities along trafficking and smuggling routes are collaborating to detect cases.

  • NIS establishes Border Patrol Forward Operation Bases at strategic locations for regular patrol and surveillance of border areas.

National Referral Mechanism (NRM) and/or Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

A guide to the NRM is available and includes a list of referral partners (State and non-State actors). Its implementation lies with NAPTIP, with support from NGOs and international organizations.

In addition to the NRM guidelines:

  • A comprehensive directory of referral partners is currently being developed in close coordination between NAPTIP and IOM.

  • NIS in coordination with relevant agencies is also addressing SOM and TIP. In collaboration with the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), it is currently working to publish standard operating procedures for TIP and SOM. The document has been validated by the national authority but is not yet officially released.

  • The NIS establishes forward operating bases for cross-border patrols at strategic points along the borders to facilitate regular surveillance patrols



The overall coordination of the NRM is the responsibility of the NAPTIP.

  • NAPTIP is the government agency with the mandate to coordinate all efforts to combat TIP in Nigeria.

  • The NAPTIP director, who also is the national coordinator, shall be responsible for the smooth operation of the NRM on a daily basis, by responding to inquiries from service providers and facilitating effective collaboration by all members of the network.

  • The national coordinator shall work with a team of seven persons representing key partners and organizations such as the NACTAL, LEAs, MDAs, which shall meet from time to time to discuss the operations of the NRM. This team shall provide technical support, monitoring, evaluation, and oversight function for the NRM.

  • Partners should have designated focal persons in their respective organizations who should be contacted when the need arises.

  • The coordinating team shall be replicated at zonal and state levels as applicable.


The federal, state, and local governments shall engage in support services including rescue, referral, provision of security, legal, awareness-raising, advocacy, provision of microcredit, family tracing and reunion, victim referral, psychosocial support, rehabilitation, sheltering, health care, literacy and education, vocational and economic skills building. In addition, they receive, document, and refer trafficked persons to and from NAPTIP.


These include NGOs under the auspices of NACTAL and other civil society organizations at the grassroots relevant to providing assistance to trafficked persons. These partners shall inform and refer trafficked persons to NAPTIP and other service providers at the national, zonal, state, and local government levels. They provide services which include rescue, referral, legal support, awareness-raising, advocacy, provision of microcredit, family tracing and reunion, victim referral, psychosocial support, rehabilitation, prevention, sheltering, health care, literacy and education, vocational and economic skills building.


In Nigeria, SOM cases are essentially referred to NIS and follow these procedures:

  • Other law enforcement agencies that intercept suspects or smuggled migrants contact NIS through the communication steps contained in the SOP.

  • Agencies without the facilities to keep suspects and/or smuggled migrants transfer such persons to the nearest NIS formation.

  • Where there is no NIS formation nearby, suspects and smuggled migrants should be handed over to the nearest law enforcement agency or relevant civil society organizations, which should take further necessary steps to transfer people to the NIS.

The communication sequence is the following:

  1. On suspicion of SOM, the field officer reports to his or her immediate superior.

  2. The superior officer analyzes the case to confirm SOM elements.

  3. The superior officer refers the case to NIS.

  4. The law enforcement agency transfers the case files, exhibits, suspects, and smuggled migrants to NIS.

  5. A stakeholder who intercepts a suspected case of SOM should refer it to the nearest LEA, CSO, or NIS.

  6. International agencies and governments should contact the NIS as the focal agency in the fight against SOM in Nigeria.

Law Enforcement Agencies Responsible for Investigating Cases of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrant (SOM)


NAPTIP is responsible for:

  • Enforcing and administering the provisions of the TIPPEA 2015

  • Coordinating and enforcing all other laws on trafficking in persons and related offences

  • Adopting effective measures for the prevention and eradication of trafficking in persons and related offences

  • Establishing coordinated preventive, regulatory, and investigatory machinery geared towards the eradication of trafficking in persons

  • Investigating all cases of trafficking in persons including forced labour, child labour, forced prostitution, exploitative labour and other forms of exploitation, slavery and slavery-like activities, bonded labour, removal of organs, smuggling of migrants, and the sale and purchase of persons


  • NIS, in collaboration with NAPTIP, is responsible for:

  • The control of persons entering or leaving Nigeria

  • Issuance of travel documents, including Nigeria passports, to bona fide Nigerians within and outside Nigeria

  • Issuance of residence permits to foreigner nationals in Nigeria

  • Border surveillance and patrol

  • Enforcement of laws and regulations with which they are directly charged

  • Performance of such paramilitary duties within or outside Nigeria as may be required of them under the authority of the Trafficking In Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act or other enactments.

NIS’s capacity to collect evidence to support prosecution is done through:

  • An investigation team under the Migration Directorate

  • SOM units in 36 State Commands and Federal Capital Territory

  • Field officers in 774 local government areas

Identity and Travel Documentation Investigation and Forensic Lab

  • The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is responsible for identity management in the country. As of 2019, NIMC has 15% of the total population registered in its database. National identity numbers are issued to citizens.

  • NAPTIP has a forensic lab at its headquarters where phone analysis and biometric checks are conducted.

  • NIS has Document Fraud Units at the service headquarters and five international airports that conduct forensic investigation into all fraudulent document related matters.

NIS, with the support of IOM, established the Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Nigeria. 

Technical Working Groups

Nigeria has several Technical Working Groups (TWGs) working on TIP and SOM.

  • The Technical Working Group on Migration under the National Migration Policy is the second level of coordination and consultation on migration-related matters. It consists of representatives of State and non- State actors involved in operational activities related to migration and makes recommendations to the Sector Policy Review Committee (SPRC) for approval. Its chair is the National Commission for Refugee Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI).

At the federal level, different thematic TWGs exist with respect to TIP and SOM.

  • TWG on law enforcement

  • TWG on protection

  • TWG on partnership

A stakeholder consultative forum is convened at least once a year to bring together all actors dealing with TIP

In the context of northeast Nigeria, the government and other stakeholders formed the Anti Trafficking in Persons Task Force. The task force has three subcommittees: the Prevention Subcommittee, the Protection Subcommittee, and the Prosecution Subcommittee.


To conduct research, share information and document crime, to raise public awareness of trafficking in persons, to build the capacity of all stakeholders, to encourage government and non-State actors to carry out poverty alleviation programmes involving potentially vulnerable groups and targeted communities, to integrate cross-cutting issues such as, gender-based violence, gender, child protection into human trafficking awareness programmes, and promote religious and community linkages.


To establish a functional identification and referral system for reported cases of TIP, to incorporate TIP into protection monitoring systems, to ensure that all TIP cases are duly registered with NAPTIP, to share information on best practices, to enhance access to rehabilitation programmes for victims of trafficking, to organize capacity building trainings for relevant stakeholders, to facilitate VOTs’ access to justice and legal representation, to facilitate the provision of appropriate shelter and psychosocial support services to identified VOTs, to promote safeguarding within shelters by ensuring that staff and victims are aware of the problems; to minimize risks and prevent harm.


It emphasizes to key actors such as NPF, NIS, and NSCDC the importance of timely reporting and responding to prosecutors and courts, defining strategies for protecting victims of TIP during reintegration, reporting and investigating incidents, and improving interagency coordination.

The agency in charge of Trafficking in Persons (TIP)/Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) data collection and processing

The collection of administrative data on trafficking and smuggling is carried out by NAPTIP in collaboration with the NIS.

  • NAPTIP has a Department for Research and Programme. The Research Unit embarks on research and data collection to unearth the factors sustaining trafficking in persons. It also provides inputs for policy formulation and implementation aimed at tackling TIP in Nigeria. The Programme Development Unit helps the agency achieve its mandate of developing, monitoring, and evaluating various programmes to tackle traffic in persons and other related crimes in Nigeria. La victime qui a consenti à la réintégration doit se comporter de manière à ne pas compromettre sa réintégration ;

Protection and Assistance to Victims of Trafficking Agencies

Competent authority and mechanism used to officially identify and recognize a person as a VOT

  • National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) is the authority that officially recognizes a person as a VOT. The access to services/assistance is conditional upon this recognition.

  • The Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act of 2015 and the National Policy on Protection and Assistance to Trafficked Person (2008) define the process for how a VOT is identified and treated.


  • Access to services and assistance is available to VOTs and other vulnerable persons


  • The victim who has consented to reintegration must behave in a manner that does not jeopardize the reintegration;

  • A victim who has consented to rehabilitation shall comport himself or herself in a manner that will not jeopardize the objectives of rehabilitation.

  • A victim shall make himself or herself available at all times for informal/formal education to achieve the purpose of rehabilitation/integration.

  • A victim shall comport himself or herself in a manner that will not be detrimental to the well-being of other victims and care providers.

  • A victim shall subject himself or herself to the rules and regulations, as well as the daily routine while in residence at a shelter.

  • A victim who has consented to rehabilitation shall complete the rehabilitation programmes designed for him or her.

  • A victim shall disclose relevant information concerning his or her health status to counsellors to enhance the quality of care.

Assistance Services and Contacts

A directory of victim services providers is currently being developed and is expected to be available in 2021

Cross-Border Cooperation

International Cooperation Agreements - Cross Border and Extradition Treaties

Nigeria is signatory and has ratified a number of UN treaties and multilateral and bilateral treaties relating to trafficking, smuggling, and cross-border issues, such as:


  • Protocol to Present, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime 2000, which defines trafficking in persons and is applicable to the prevention, investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases where they are transnational in nature. Nigeria signed and ratified this convention on December 13, 2000 and June 28, 2001, respectively.

  • Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime 2000 which criminalizes inter alia participation in an organized crime group, laundering of proceeds of crime, and corruption of public officials.

  • Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, on the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography, 2000.

  • Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989 which enjoins state parties to take all appropriate national bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent the abduction of the slave or traffic in children for pay purpose of in any form. Nigeria signed this convention on January 26, 1990 and ratified it on April 19, 1991.


  • ECOWAS Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters (1992).

  • ECOWAS Initial Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons (2001). At its 25th session in Dakar in December 2001, the 15 member states of ECOWAS adopted and endorsed the ECOWAS Initial Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons (2002-2003). The meeting was organized by ECOWAS and the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (UNODC). Nigeria is also a signatory to the joint ECCAS/ECOWAS action plan to combat trafficking in human beings, especially women and children, in West and Central Africa established in 2006.

  • The Libreville Declaration (2000) “Libreville Common Platform for action to fight Child Trafficking for exploitative labour purposes in West and Central Africa” signed in Libreville, Gabon on 24 February 2000 by 21 countries in West and Central Africa including Nigeria. 

  • Nigeria is part of the Libreville Joint Platform for Action of February 24, 2000 on the development of strategies to combat trafficking in children for the purpose of exploiting their work in West and Central Africa. The Libreville Consultation is the result of a long process of collaboration and continuous exchange between UNICEF, ILO, and the government of Gabon, which has facilitated the participation of 21 countries of the region of West and Central Africa.

  • The Cooperation Agreement to combat child trafficking in West Africa, signed on July 27, 2005 in Abidjan between Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo.

  • The Multilateral Regional Cooperation Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children in West and Central Africa signed in Abuja on July 6, 2006.

  • Ministers from West and Central African States met in Yamoussoukro, Cote D’Ivoire, at an “African specialized meeting on Child Trafficking and Exploitation in West and Central Africa.” A declaration on human trafficking was adopted.

  • The Headquarters Agreement between Nigeria and the IOM signed on 2002, in Geneva; IOM has an office in Lagos and Abuja and is implementing activities in the fields of labour migration, assisted voluntary returns, border management, capacity building, and migration health.

  • UNHCR Nigeria operates locally in Nigeria, regionally within ECOWAS, and internationally. It was involved in the establishment and subsequent closure of the Oru Refugee Camp (Ogun State), in collaboration with NCFR. It is also a signatory to the tripartite agreement concerning the local integration of refugees in Nigeria.

  • UNODC, through its country office in Nigeria, has been cooperating with the federal government, its specialized agencies, the judiciary, as well as select State governments, civil society, and the private sector to make Nigeria safer from drugs, crime, and terrorism. On July 29, 2020 IOM and ARK launched four new projects to strengthen the response to trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in Nigeria. This was done with the support of the governments of Canada and Switzerland and jointly with NAPTIP and the NIS.

  • Nigeria is getting INTERPOL’s vital global policing information into the hands of frontline law enforcement officers throughout Nigeria is part of an ongoing expansion programme by national authorities. The connectivity between the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Abuja and other agencies such as NIS, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency were highlighted as good practice in ensuring a seamless transfer of policing information.

At the bilateral level, Nigeria has signed these agreements:

  • Agreement between Nigeria and Italy (2000) The agreement between Nigeria and Italy was signed on September 12, 2000. It compels Italy to render technical assistance to Nigeria on immigration matters and other areas stipulated in the Spanish agreement.

  • Agreement on immigration matters with Spain (2001) The bilateral agreement between Nigeria and Spain on immigration matters was entered into on November 12, 2001. It deals with issues of repatriation of illegal migrants in the country, cooperation on immigration issues, and compliance with fundamental human rights, combat of illegal migration, facilitation of the rehabilitation of repatriated persons in a manner that guarantees their human rights, and exchange of information by the two countries.

  • Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Accord (2002) Plan of action was adopted in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on November 28, 2002 that emphasized the commitment to the Libreville Declaration and encouraged member States to increase efforts to implement it. Bilateral Accords.

  • Agreement between Nigeria and South Africa (2002) This agreement was signed on March 28, 2002 and makes no reference to the issue of trafficking but deals extensively with the situation of illegal immigration expressly providing for issues like the deportation/repatriation of respective nationals who so qualify under the national laws of the contracting parties.

  • Memorandum of Understanding between Benin and Nigeria (2003) MOU was signed on August 14, 2003 between Benin and Nigeria to: 1) work out effective cooperation on human trafficking; 2) identify, investigate, and prosecute agents and traffickers; 3) protect victims of human trafficking and return them promptly to their countries of origin.

  • MOU with the UK (2004) The MOU between Nigeria and the UK, signed in London on November 17, 2004, was based on “cooperation to prevent, suppress and punish Trafficking in Persons.”

  • Agreement between Nigeria and Ireland on immigration matters This agreement includes provisions for technical assistance to Nigeria, but also provisions for basic needs assistance with a view to reducing extreme poverty. The agreement emphasizes the need to allow deported migrants to take their belongings with them on deportation.

  • √ Extradition agreements: Nigeria has extradition agreements with the UK, the United States, and South Africa. Nigeria is also a party of the 1994 ECOWAS agreements on extradition.

Transnational Referral Mechanism

No TRM exists, but bilateral cooperation with Niger is in the initial stage of discussion. Protocols for identification, safe return, and rehabilitation of VOTs are in the final stages of validation.

To learn more about TRMs, see IOM’s Transnational Referral Mechanism Model (TACT) project and tool

Additional International Instruments

For more information:

NAPTIP annual reports: the latest 2019 country report on human trafficking

Federal Republic of Nigeria National Migration Policy 2015

Country Policy and Information Note Nigeria: Trafficking of Women (July 2019)

Relevant National Legislation and Policies

Entry requirements

All 15 ECOWAS member states are entitled to travel/enter the country with National ID card or ECOWAS Laissez-Passer. A visa is also not required for former nationals of Nigeria holding a valid foreign passport together with an expired Nigerian passport.

Visa abolition agreements: according to bilateral agreement, nationals of Cameroon and Chad can travel to Nigeria for a short visit without obtaining a Nigerian visa and with certain entry conditions.

Visa waiver for international organizations: holders of official travel documents from the UN, the African Union Commission (AU), the ECOWAS Commission, and the African Development Bank (ADB) also enjoy visa waivers under the policy.

Visa on arrival: in November 2019 the President of Nigeria announced that visas on arrival would be granted to all African travelers starting from January 2020.

VISA required: nationals of all European Union (EU) members states, The UK, and Libya.

More information can be found at the Nigeria Immigration Portal

National legislation

To respect its international and regional commitments, Nigeria has taken legal and institutional measures to combat trafficking in persons. On the legal level, it was the adoption of:

  • 2013 Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition), Enforcement and Administration Act (as amended in 2015). The Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition), Enforcement and Administration Act seeks to: 1) provide an effective and comprehensive legal and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention, detection, prosecution, and punishment of human trafficking and related offences; 2) protect victims of human trafficking; and 3) promote and facilitate national and international cooperation. It established the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

  • 2003 Child Rights Act. The Childs Rights Act (Sections 28, 30), prohibits trafficking and a range of related offences, including slavery, debt bondage or serfdom, dealing in children for the purpose of hawking or begging for alms, sexual abuse and exploitation, child marriage, and forced or compulsory labour.

  • Regarding Smuggling of Migrants (SOM): In 2015, the Nigerian Government enacted the Immigration Act of 2015 into law to deepen migration management in the country. The a repealed the Immigration Act of 1963. The act domesticates the Palermo Protocol (2000) and gives the country the legal framework to criminalize Smuggling of Migrants (SOM); it also mandates the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to combat the menace.

Recent Modifications and New Decrees

  • The anti-trafficking law was reenacted as Trafficking In Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act in 2015 to strengthen the capacity of law enforcement officers to address Trafficking of Human Beings (TIP), give judges more discretion to levy sentences, strengthen penal provisions, and include some provisions not formally contained in the repealed act, such as organ harvesting.

  • Edo State Trafficking in Persons Prohibition Law of 2018. The objective of the law is to provide an effective and comprehensive legal and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention, detection, prosecution, and punishment of human trafficking and related offences.

  • In October 2019 the Attorney General of the Federation issued a regulation called TIP - which regulates the activities of certain organizations and concerns the licensing of travel agencies, recruitment agencies, cultural, music and entertainment agencies, sports clubs, school trips and shelters where victims of trafficking are taken care of.

  • Handbook on the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) aims to organize service providers into service and geographical clusters to ensure that victims receive the best support and services anywhere in the country.

  • Protocol on Identification, Safe Return, and Rehabilitation of Victims of Trafficking is in its final stages of validation.

  • Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on law enforcement response to human trafficking in Nigeria.

  • Review of National Policy on Protections and assistance to trafficked persons in Nigeria awaiting validation.

  • A New Nation Action Plan on human trafficking is about to be developed.

Existing Policies

The Government of Nigeria has developed these policies:

  • National policy on protection and assistance to trafficked persons in Nigeria 2008. This is the guiding policy document for NAPTIP officials, government departments, NGOs, and others working to protect and assist trafficking survivors. The policy aspires to “the restoration of the victims of TIPs [trafficking in persons] and exploitative/hazardous child labour to the state of physical, psychological, social, vocational, and economic well-being through sustainable assistance programmes.

  • 2013, Policy on Child Labour: Accessible at the Federal Ministry of Labour & Employment website.

  • 2014, The National Policy on Labour Migration: Accessible at the Federal Ministry of Labour & Employment website

  • 2015, Migration Policy : Accessible at the Federal Ministry of Labour & Employment website

  • Nigeria Visa Policy 2020.

Legal Instruments for Assistance and Compensation for Victimss of Trafficking


  • Legal assistance is provided by NAPTIP to child VOTs upon rescue. All presumed VOTs have access to legal assistance with no conditions.

Reasonable grounds of fear or concern of harm to the Victim of TIP or SOM indicates whether return to the country of origin is justified. The victim of TIP may be allowed to seek asylum and can be granted temporary protection status, which is valid for two years maximum. The protection status may be renewed under the condition that the previous concerns still exist, and that the victim will still not pose security risk to the country and public order.


The 2015 TIPPEA Act enables courts to award compensation to VOTs as part of criminal proceedings

  • NAPTIP operates a victim support fund, which is a pool funded by the confiscated assets of traffickers.

  • NAPTIP is also working with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other state and non-state legal actors to set up legal hubs in the Lagos, Edo, and Delta states. At these hubs VOTs can seek civil compensation and damages from their traffickers.

  • There is no separate State compensation scheme as part of criminal proceedings.

  • Foreign victims are offered the same compensation opportunities as Nigerians, if their cases are concluded before they opt to leave the country.

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