Latest modern slavery fight updates -

Nigeria Seeks to Reward Whistleblowers

  • Published on
    December 6, 2017
  • News Source Image
  • Category:
    Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Law & Policy, Prevention, Rehabilitation & Liberation
Hero Banner

The Nigerian government is ramping up its efforts to combat human trafficking with the support of millions of pounds in British aid. The country plans to reward whistleblowers who report cases of trafficking, address black magic beliefs that prevent victims from coming forward, and boost prosecutions.

Thomson Reuters Foundation reports that thousands of Nigerian women and girls are lured to Europe by traffickers, where they are sold into forced sex work in Italy. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says that there has been a surge in the number of Nigerian women coming to Italy in the last year and at least four in five were forced into sex work.

Nigeria’s anti-trafficking agency NAPTIP is also rewarding whistleblowers with a share of traffickers’ gains. The agency says that they have had more than 50 people come forward with information since this policy was implemented.

Notably, more than 9 out of 10 trafficked Nigerian women in Europe are from Edo state. The state governor, Godwin Obaseki, says he is working to combat the fear instilled in victims through black magic.

Obaseki said his office was also trying to dispel fears around black magic, known as “juju”, which traps thousands of Nigerian women and girls in sex slavery in Europe.

Victims of trafficking fear that witchcraft rituals performed by spiritual priests could cause them or their relatives to fall ill or die if they disobey their traffickers, go to the police or fail to pay off their debts.

“We have gone to (the traditional priests) and asked them to reverse the juju,” said NAPTIP’s Okah-Donli, adding that the agency shows trafficked women photos of these priests to convince them that any curses cast upon them have been lifted.

Trafficking of African migrants has been in the news after videos of Libyan slave markets surfaced. Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari said last week his government had started bringing stranded citizens home from Libya and called the slave trade “appalling and unacceptable.”


Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This week

European cocaine gangs using forced labor to exploit children

A recent investigation by The Guardian found the continent’s £10bn appetite for cocaine has led to forced child labor on an equally massive scale. Increasingly powerful drug cartels are forcing hundreds, possibly thousands, of unaccompanied child migrants to work as drug sellers on European streets. They do this to meet the growing demand for cocaine in cities including Paris and Brussels. Industrial scale exploitation The increase in refugees

| Tuesday June 11, 2024

Read more