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Published On: Thu, Mar 20th, 2014

Human traffickers risk 7-year jail term

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jail in nigeriaBy Ikechukwu Okaforadi

Human traffickers will henceforth face a jail term not less than seven years, and (or) pay a fine not less than N1 million, as the Senate yesterday passed the Bill which prohibits trafficking in persons.

This was sequel to the consideration and passage of the report of the Senate Joint Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters; and Women Affairs Youth Development, which earlier conducted a public hearing on the Bill prohibiting trafficking in persons in Nigeria.

Titled “A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Trafficking in persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act, 2003, as Amended and to Enact the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act to Provide Measures Against Trafficking and Related Matters, 2013”, the Bill has made stiffer the penalty for human trafficking and exploitation.

Section 16(1) of the Bill says “Any Person who procures or recruits any person to be subjected to prostitution or other forms of exploitation or offers oneself for such, any person or persons, either in Nigeria or anywhere else, commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not less than seven years and to a fine not less than N1 million”.

Sub-section 2 of the Bill says any person who procures or recruits any person to be conveyed from his usual place of abode, knowing or having reasons to know that such a person may be subjected or induced into prostitution or other forms of exploitation in any place outside Nigeria, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years and to a fine of not less than N1 million.

Also, under this Bill, any person who recruits, uses or offers any person under eighteen years for the production of pornography or for pornographic performances, or traffics any person under eighteen years for the purpose of forced recruitment for use in armed conflict, or allows a person under the age of eighteen to be harboured in a brothel, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to not less than seven year-jail or fine not less than N1 million.

Moreover, organisers, facilitators and promoters of foreign trips for the purposes of prostitution or other forms of exploitation, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for term of not less than seven years and to a fine of not less than N1 million.

Meanwhile, for the offence of organ harvest, the actors involved would go for not less than seven year-jail, or pay a fine not less than N5 million, or both, just as actors guilty of any offence constituting child labour shall face between two and seven years jail, without an option of fine.

The report was submitted by the Chairmen of the Senate Committees on Women Affairs and Youth Development and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Helen Esuene and Umar Dahiru.

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