FAME WOMEN CONFERENCE 2018 THEMED: LIBERATE, EDUCATE AND VITALIZE
The Women conference was focused on two major topics: Driving and Sustaining Women Impact in the society and Tackling Human Trafficking in Nigeria with an academic angle to the menace by Prof. Kwem Kadima of Obafemi Awolowo University.
Nigerian 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 the Gambia, for the same purposes. Children from West African states like Benin, Togo, and Ghana – where Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) rules allow for easy entry – are also forced to work in Nigeria, and some are subjected to hazardous jobs in Nigeria’s granite mines. Nigerian women and girls are taken to Europe, especially to Italy and Russia, and to the Middle East and North Africa, for forced prostitution
The 2003 Trafficking in Persons Law Enforcement and Administration Act, amended in 2005, and eventually re-enacted in 2015 by President Goodluck Jonathan to increase penalties for trafficking offenders, and for greater effectiveness prohibits all forms of human trafficking. The law’s prescribed penalties of five years’ imprisonment and/or a $670 fine for labor trafficking, 10 years’ imprisonment for trafficking of children for forced begging or hawking, and 10 years to life imprisonment for sex trafficking are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape.
Nigeria’s 2003 Child Rights Act also criminalizes child trafficking, though only 23 of the country’s 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory, have enacted it. According to the Nigerian constitution, laws pertaining to children’s rights fall under state purview; therefore, the Child Rights Act must be adopted by individual state legislatures to be fully implemented. NAPTIP reported 149 investigations, 26 prosecutions, and 25 convictions of trafficking offences during the reporting period under the 2003 Trafficking in Persons Act. Sentences ranged from two months to 10 years, with an average sentence of 2.66 years’ imprisonment; only two convicted offenders were offered the option of paying a fine instead of serving prison time.
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