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> MIGRANT Home > Good practices database - Labour migration policies and programmes > National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP), Nigeria

National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP), Nigeria

This practice represents a significant effort to combat trafficking in persons through setting up a specialised national agency with the mandate to investigate cases of human trafficking, prosecute perpetrators, and counsel and rehabilitate victims, all in the context where an appropriate national legal framework based on international norms in relation to anti-trafficking is in place.

  • Responsible Organizations: The NAPTIP is the governmental agency of Nigeria that implements, manages and enforces the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act (2003). (Government)
  • ILO Regions: Africa
  • Country(ies): Nigeria
  • Multilateral framework theme(s): Prevention of abusive practices
  • Start date: 26 Aug 2003


Prevent and combat trafficking of persons in Nigeria and its associated consequences and outcomes and prosecute traffickers and assist victims.


Activities, processes and steps involved

Nigeria ratified the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2000) on 28 June 2001. A civil society committee, led by the NGO, Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF), was set up to draft an anti-human trafficking bill in order to implement the Protocol. The bill was subsequently presented to the National Assembly. The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo approved to convert the bill into the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act, on 14 July 2003. This Law fulfils Nigeria's international obligations under the Protocol.

The law prohibits child labour, forced labour, trafficking in slaves, pornography, drug trafficking, and forced or compulsory recruitment into armed conflict. It also provides a legal framework for the protection of the rights of victims of trafficking, protects the identity of victims and their right to press charges against traffickers, as well as provides access to health and social services. Foreign nationals who are victims of trafficking are granted a temporary resident permit.

Section 1 (1) of the Act establishes a multi-dimensional crime fighting body known as the National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP). The law was subsequently amended by Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration (Amendment) Act, in 2005, in order to convert some of the enforcement powers of the Agency into practical actions. Accordingly, NAPTIT comprises of four specialized units: Investigation, Prosecution, Counselling and Rehabilitation and Public Enlightenment.

The current law (Section 4) vests in NAPTIP wide-ranging functions, including:
a. Coordinate and reinforce all national, regional and international regulations and agreements on trafficking in persons and related offences;
b. Adopt measures to protect and assist victims, including provision of witness protection programmes and rehabilitation;
c. Facilitate cooperation and dialogue between the different stakeholders (Government agencies, social partners, and international organizations);
d. Strengthen investigation and prosecution of traffickers and enhance the effectiveness of law enforcement agents;
e. Promote international cooperation and coordination on anti-trafficking measures.
As part of its mandate, NAPTIP conducts public-awareness campaigns on the dangers of trafficking, particularly focusing on child labour and trafficking. Anti-trafficking clubs in secondary schools conduct awareness-raising events for youth on precautions to take before accepting job offers to work in other countries. As a result of bilateral agreements with transit and destination countries, NAPTIP has rescued and returned children to Benin and Gabon. The 2003 Nigerian Child Rights Act protects and promotes the rights of children.

Target beneficiaries

Victims or potential victims of trafficking in Nigeria


NAPTIP works with other federal ministries, law enforcement and immigration officers, and civil society organizations, such as the WOTCLEF, in the 22 states to establish anti-trafficking committees at the state level and to sensitize the local population on the dangers of trafficking in persons. NAPTIP coordinates victim assistance services with government ministries, NGOs and international agencies, such as the International Organization for Migration, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the ILO, UNICEF, among others. NAPTIP also works with other governments, international organizations and civil society organisations to establish a centre for the maintenance and analysis of records from all agencies and organizations working on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) issues. In addition, NAPTIP regularly consults with employers and workers organizations, as well as other government entities.

Main outputs

- In June 2005, the Government of Nigeria and Benin signed a cooperation agreement to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, with an emphasis on trafficking in women and children.
- NAPTIP's Research and Programme Development Department (RPD), worked closely with other stakeholders to conclude a draft National Action Plan on Trafficking in Persons. The draft has been submitted to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for consideration and approval as a National Policy on Trafficking in Persons.
- RPD, in collaboration with the ILO, carried out a survey in the four border provinces of Benue, Taraba, Borno and Sokoto to ascertain the incidence of human trafficking between the Republic of Cameroon and Nigeria. In the quest to fight the root causes of trafficking in persons, the department, in collaboration with the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders (UNAFRI) carried out research in Benin City - Edo state. Edo was chosen because of the high concentration of trafficking victims repatriated from Europe.
- Between January 2004 and December 2012, 6,560 victims of trafficking have been rescued.
- As of March 2013, NAPTIP has achieved 183 convictions on human trafficking offences.
- In November 2011, NAPTIP conducted its first joint raid with Malian officials to come to the assistance of trafficking victims in Bamako brothels.

Relevant criteria for assessment

1. Respect for migrant worker rights

NAPTIP's activities are in line with the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol), adopted by the United Nations in December 2000. This Protocol entered into force on 25 December 2003 and by 2006 the protocol was signed by 117 states and ratified by 110.

NAPTIP also protects children's rights (2003 Child Rights Act) and victims of trafficking through the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act (2003). By virtue of the law, a victim of trafficking is identified and treated as a victim and not as a criminal and, where the circumstances so justify, should not be detained or imprisoned. Regulations require that investigators, counselling officers, and any other responsible person(s) protect the identity and personal history of an identified victim from the public. A victim is entitled to compensation and restitution from his/her exploiter(s) through civil action.

2. Relevance

Nigeria is a major country of origin, transit and destination for human trafficking. The creation of NAPTIP and enactment of an anti-trafficking law presents an important step towards the prevention and suppression of trafficking in persons.

3. (Positive) Impact

With the establishment of NAPTIP in 2003, the 2003 Law Enforcement and Administration Act provides a legal framework for prosecuting trafficking cases up to the High Courts. The registration of victims through NAPTIP made it possible to develop a better understanding on the dynamics of trafficking in the different states. The number of rescued victims has increased over time.

4. Potential for replication and extension (adaptability)

Trafficking represents a serious threat not only to Nigeria, but to West and Central Africa's long-term development. National governments and ECOWAS, with support from international and local partners, have developed a Plan of Action against trafficking for West Africa as well as a Multilateral Cooperation Agreement with Central African countries. As a result, 12 of the 16 States in the region have passed national laws that recognize human trafficking as a crime, prescribe penalties, protect victims and establish bodies to fight the phenomenon.

The existence of such bodies have been key in developing national plans of action to address trafficking, while the adoption of legislation has resulted in a gradual increase in detections, investigations, prosecutions and convictions. An increasing number of victims have also been rescued and assisted.

5. Innovativeness

NAPTIP's innovativeness resides in that it addresses the problem of trafficking in a comprehensive and integrated manner, taking into consideration the multifaceted dimensions and the different institutional levels (national and international).

The promotion of international networks and cooperation is also a very innovative approach. NAPTIP chairs the quarterly meetings of the National Consultative Forum of Stakeholders. Concerned governmental and law enforcement bodies, international organizations and civil society groups participate in this forum.

6. Broad-based participatory

As previously stated NAPTIP works with various local and international partners. It is also worth highlighting that this practice enables victims to directly report instances of trafficking through a central database situated in the NAPTIP Monitoring Centre, which stores information on victims and traffickers.

7. Sustainability

More recently, NAPTIP has struggled in maintaining its funding and capacities, thus setting a worrying precedent for the organisation's future success. Funding for protective services has not increased while victims' shelters have not been well maintained or provided limited reintegration, according to the 2012 US State Department Trafficking in Persons Report. Greater funding for prosecution of trafficking offenders as well as improved victims' care should be priorities going forward, as well as increased interaction and support between NAPTIP and other government agencies.

8. Effectiveness

NAPTIP plays a vital role in fighting trafficking in persons and protecting the victims. Partnerships and the exchange of information need to be reinforced to strengthen this role and increase the Agency's capacity to comprehensively address trafficking. The Nigerian government can boost the effectiveness of NAPTIP by increasing funding for prosecution of traffickers and improving the level of care in NAPTIP shelters. Better collection of trafficking and crime data would also enhance the Agency's effectiveness.

"It is indeed possible to say that significant progress has been made in the war against human trafficking in Nigeria, especially in terms of awareness creation and prosecution. However, this is not to say that the illicit trade has subsided. The traffickers have continuously devised new ways of carrying out their nefarious activities" (Osita Agbu , Associate Professor at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos, Nigeria).


    No 2028 Dalaba Street, Wuse Zone 5,
    F.C.T Abuja
    P.M.B. 5161
    Tel: 234 9 413 2797
    15A Awolowo Road,
    Ikoyi, Lagos State.
    Fax: 01 4613192<
    47 Adesuwa College.
    GRA, Benin City,
    P.O. Box 267, Edo State
    13 Udo Umana Street,
    Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
    61, Ezeilo Street,
    Independence Layout,
    GRA Layout, Enugu State<
    98 Foundation Road,
    Farm Centre, Nassarawa,
    GRA, Kano State<
    4, Kalgo Road,
    Runjin Sambo,
    Opposite NTA, Sokoto,
    Sokoto State<



last updated on 25.10.2013^ top