US Trafficking in Persons Report 2015: Nigerian Children at High Risk of Trafficking to the UK
Notes to Editors
AFRUCA – Africans Unite Against Child Abuse is a national charity promoting the rights and welfare of African children in the UK. AFRUCA’s Head Office is in London with a Centre for African Children and Families in Manchester.
The US TIP Report is used to engage foreign governments in dialogues in order to assess the impact of their anti-trafficking reforms. It is also aimed at combating trafficking by better allocation of resources for prevention, protection and prosecution programs by different countries.
AFRUCA has over 14 years track record of providing culturally sensitive support and care to children and young people trafficked into the UK for various exploitative purposes such as domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, forced labour and forced marriage.
Till date, AFRUCA has supported over 300 young victims of human trafficking to get back on their feet through provision of one-to-one support, signposting victims to specialist agencies and assisting them to access state support available to victims of trafficking in the UK.
The 2015 United State Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report has highlighted that Nigerian children are at high risk of trafficking to the UK as Nigeria remains a top source country for potential victims of trafficking in the UK.
The TIP Report is produced by the US government annually and is regarded as a principal diplomatic tool used in holding foreign governments in 188 countries accountable to their anti-trafficking commitments . The Report allocates different tiers to each country based on their government’s effort in complying with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking worldwide.
According to the Report, “EUROPOL has identified Nigerian organized crime related to trafficking in persons as one of the greatest law enforcement challenges to European governments.” Nigeria, which is a major African source country for trafficking in the UK, still remains in the Tier 2 Category since the country was downgraded from Tier 1 back in 2012. The Report further echoes AFRUCA’s concern of Nigerian children being exploited and trafficked for sexual exploitation and domestic servitude by highly placed government officials.
AFRUCA welcomes recommendations for the Nigeria and UK Governments. The 2015 TIP Report has called on the Nigerian government to: “take proactive measures to investigate and prosecute government officials suspected of trafficking-related corruption and complicity in trafficking offences.”
The report also called on the UK government to strengthen its victim identification and referral system so that many victims of trafficking, including unaccompanied migrant children are better safeguarded and offered victim-centred support and assistance. It recommends increasing “funding for and access to specialized services for trafficking victims, regardless of their immigration status; allow potential victims to access services from care providers before having to engage with law enforcement and consider extending the reflection and recovery period”. It further recommends that foreign victims be given a “trafficking specific long-term alternative to deportation or repatriation” to their home countries.
Lola Gani-Yusuf, Anti-Trafficking Coordinator at AFRUCA said: “The TIP Report corroborates AFRUCA’s longstanding campaign for the provision of specialist support services to all victims of trafficking identified in the UK, irrespective of their immigration status. Efforts should also be made to target unaccompanied migrant children coming into the UK to ensure they don’t fall victims to trafficking and exploitation due to undisclosed private fostering arrangements”.
Debbie, Chief Executive Officer at AFRUCA said: “It is a known fact that some of the people involved in child trafficking in Nigeria are powerful and highly placed within the Nigerian society. To effectively tackle trafficking of Nigerian children into the UK, the Nigerian government needs to fight poverty, which is the root cause of trafficking and ensure that traffickers are brought to justice, prosecuted irrespective of how influential they are in the country.”
- For enquiries and interviews please contact AFRUCA on 0207 7042261 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.afruca.org.