[Human trafficking] Corruption high in immigration services, judiciary – Trafficking in Persons Report 2021

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In the last 12 months, Nigeria has improved in its fight against human trafficking, says the United States, in its Trafficking in Persons Report 2021, deserving of an upgrade to Tier 2 because it compares favourably against the previous reporting period,

The report however noted serious official infringements in terms of significant corrupt practices in the Immigration services and Judiciary, citing cases where children are used at IDP camp checkpoints by the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) in Borno State and high incidences of sex trafficking in government-run IDP camps with suspected traffickers hardly being prosecuted.

The report states “Corruption remained a significant concern in the judiciary and immigration services, and the Ministry of Defense did not finalize its handover protocol to refer child soldiers to care for the sixth consecutive year”.

Observers have however noted that the Boko Haram warfare in the region which is at the core of the imbroglio is increasingly making child-trafficking, kidnapping, forced and imposed taxes a rather thriving and profitable business, which involves immigration official, customs and other government security agencies.

The Report suggests that convicting more traffickers and sanctioning perpetrators with significant prison terms; prosecuting officials suspected of being complicit in trafficking crimes; improving intra-governmental coordination on anti-trafficking operations and increased collaboration with foreign governments on international trafficking investigations.will help in addressing many of those issues.

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