Historically, Nigeria is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to trafficking, including forced labor and forced prostitution.
Nigeria ranks high among African countries where thousands of women and children are trafficked illegally to destinations abroad, especially Europe — the International Organization for Migration estimates that around 11,000 women and 3,000 children who arrived by sea in Italy in 2016 were from Nigeria.
To combat human trafficking, Nigeria’s anti-trafficking agency, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), has launched an app called the “NAPTIP iReport app” that allows people to report cases of human trafficking in the country. Citizens can alert local authorities on human trafficking incidents via the app.
According to NAPTIP, 80% of all women and girls arriving from Nigeria to Europe are potential victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation. Officials from the agency also reported that they foiled an attempt to smuggle ten children out of Nigeria to Russia during the World Cup in June.
Since its establishment in 2003, NAPTIP has secured convictions in 359 criminal cases against human traffickers. The Director-General of NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli said human trafficking networks were recording huge profits from their activities, as even more young women escaping poverty fall into their hands because they paint a rosy picture of life in Europe.
Using the app, the agency hopes to improve its chances of prosecuting these criminals.