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US downgrades Nigeria for Human Trafficking

By Hugo Odiogor

The United State has downgraded Nigeria  from Tier 1 to Tier 2 status for lack of compliance with  the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

At the public presentation of   the 2012  annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, in Washington U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton Nigeria was downgraded because the Government of Nigeria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

While the National Agency for Prevention of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) is doing well, it cannot be done without increased support and resources from the Nigerian government.

The report which is an annual compilation by the department of State in Washington, D.C said “Nigeria was downgraded because the Government of Nigeria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.”

It noted that while the National Agency for Prevention of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) is doing well, the agency has been handicapped by lack of  support and resources from the Federal government.

The statement said the U.S. Congress, through its passage of the 2000 Trafficking Victims Protection Act, as amended (TVPA), requires the Secretary of State to submit an annual Report to Congress to study the status of compliance by countries. “ The goal of this Report is to stimulate action and create partnerships around the world in the fight against modern-day slavery”.

The U.S.government said it would  continue to support the work of NAPTIP and Nigeria’s return to Tier 1 status through continued collaboration and joint training programs.

Nigeria  has been urged among other remedial measures to ensure the activities of NAPTIP are funded sufficiently, particularly for prosecuting trafficking offenders and providing adequate care for victims; increase investigations and prosecutions of labor trafficking offenses, and convictions and punishments of labor trafficking offenses; and impose adequate sentences on convicted trafficking offenders, including imprisonment when appropriate.


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