How Nigerian Security Officers Sexually Exploited IDPs
According to the US Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report, security officers have been charged for sexually exploiting internally displaced persons (IDPs) in government-run camps.
iexclusive News Nigeria reports that according to the research, Nigeria has not satisfied the minimal conditions for the abolition of human trafficking, despite the fact that the country is making steps to minimize the epidemic.
The study, presented on Thursday by US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, was created in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“This year’s Trafficking in Persons Report sends a strong message to the world that global crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and enduring discriminatory policies and practices, have a disproportionate effect on individuals already oppressed by other injustices,” Mr Blinken said during the report’s launch.
According to the report, while Nigeria’s government does not fully achieve the minimal standards for trafficking elimination, it has shown improvement in its efforts notwithstanding COVID-19.
“These efforts included convicting more traffickers and punishing the majority of perpetrators with significant prison terms; prosecuting officials suspected of being complicit in trafficking crimes; improving intra-governmental coordination on anti-trafficking operations; establishing nine new state task forces; and, for the first time, the Ministry of Defence acknowledged sexually abused service members.
It does, however, highlight the government’s inability to satisfy minimum standards, including the torture of two children at an IDP camp by Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) officials in Borno State, as well as ongoing complaints of sex trafficking in government-run IDP camps. It also highlighted ongoing corruption in the judicial and immigration agencies.
The study addressed prosecution, citing statutes in effect such as the Trafficking in Persons Law Enforcement and Administration Act (TIPLEAA), as modified in 2015. It deemed the sanctions as “sufficiently strong and, in the case of sex trafficking, commensurate with those specified for other offenses for other serious crimes, such as kidnapping.”
The report recognized the government’s efforts to identify victims, despite the poor social services offered to them, under protection.
“In total, according to official, NGO, and media reporting, the government – including NAPTIP, NPF, and ETAHT operations – identified roughly 499 victims and 812 potential victims,” the dossier stated.
The study proposes that the government pursue suspects while respecting the rights of the accused, hold complicit individuals criminally liable for trafficking offenses, improve law enforcement coordination, and hold complicit individuals criminally accountable for trafficking offenses.
It also requests that the government increase awareness programs in order to educate more people.
Educate the people on human trafficking indicators, as well as implementing the country’s draft anti-trafficking national action plan for 2021-2025 in collaboration with CSOs, partner governments, and the commercial sector.