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March 01, 2009

Nigerian Program Addressed Human Trafficking

March 2009 

The ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) closed its program in Nigeria in January 2009. Over the course of this three-year program, ABA ROLI successfully combated trafficking in persons in Nigeria through three major initiatives—training law enforcement, creating a nationwide electronic database and providing support to trafficking victims.

ABA ROLI worked with Nigeria’s National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons to train law enforcement officials in properly identifying and investigating cases of trafficking. ABA ROLI also worked with the training institutions of the Nigerian Police Force and the Nigerian Immigration Service to develop curricula for training their own officers on trafficking in persons. Approximately 3,000 law enforcement officers were trained by ABA ROLI and its partners.  

Prior to ABA ROLI’s anti-human trafficking program, the investigative and research capacity of anti-human trafficking agencies in Nigeria was limited and largely uncoordinated. Each police agency utilized a different data collection system, and they lacked overall data coordination. As a result, there were as many as 10 different data collection forms in use. Our program helped install equipment for a central online database that can be accessed by law enforcement officers across the country. ABA ROLI’s program also ensured that law enforcement personnel were trained to use the system. Since its installation, the database has been regularly accessed 50–60 times daily.

Those rescued from human traffickers often face a daunting reintegration process. Traumatized by their experiences and often rejected by their communities, survivors must support themselves or become vulnerable to re-trafficking. To assist in the reintegration process, ABA ROLI provided material support and training to state-run shelters where survivors receive food and clothing, as well as counseling and vocational training. ABA ROLI also worked with the Society for the Empowerment of Young Persons to pilot a business mentoring program for victims. Under this program, victims first complete vocational training. They later jointly operate a business with a more experienced entrepreneur—often one who has taken a mentoring role in the vocational training program. Each participant receives a share of the profits, with a portion immediately disbursed and the remainder held in a capital account for the participants to establish their own businesses.               

To learn more about our anti-human trafficking work in Nigeria, e-mail [email protected].