Section 21



Human trafficking

Under section 21, buying, selling, hiring, letting or obtaining the “possession” of a person, or the “disposal” of a person for the purpose of exploitation, knowing or having reason to know that the person will be exploited, is penalised with 5 years of imprisonment and a fine of at least 2 million naira.


Section 81 of the Act clarifies that “exploitation” shall include, at a minimum, sexual exploitation, deprivation of the offspring of any person, forced labour or services or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

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Section 21

Any person who buys, sells, hires, lets or otherwise obtains the possession or disposal of any person with intent, knowing it to be likely or having reasons to know that such a person will be subjected to exploitation, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than 5 years and to a fine of not less than N2,000,000.00.

Law / 26th March 2015 /Nigeria / Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act

The Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act to Provide Measures Against Trafficking and for Related Matters (Trafficking in Persons Enforcement and Administration Act) was adopted in March 2015. The Act repealed the previous Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act of 2003. The 2003 Act represented the first attempt to develop a national legal framework to combat human trafficking in Nigeria, and established the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP), to enforce laws against trafficking in persons, investigate and prosecute persons suspected of being engaged in human trafficking and to oversee and coordinate matter related to human trafficking, as well as the rehabilitation and counseling of trafficked persons.

The new 2015 Act has attempted to correct a number of problematic areas identified in the 2003 legislation, including improving the consistency of penalties and removing the option for offenders to pay a fine instead of serving a prison sentence. The stated purposes of the Act are to: a) provide an effective and comprehensive legal and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention, detection, prosecution and punishment of human trafficking and related offences in Nigeria; (b) protect victims of human trafficking; and (c) promote and facilitate national and international cooperation.