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Please note that this country guidance document has been replaced by a more recent one. The latest versions of country guidance documents are available at

Last updated: February 2019

[Targeting, 2.4]

Trafficking in human beings (THB) is defined in the EU Anti-Trafficking Directive as: ‘The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or reception of persons, including the exchange or transfer of control over those persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.[18]

The exploitation can take different forms, such as prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery, removal of organs, etc. Trafficking occurs within Nigeria as well as to third countries. 

Traffickers may use deception, such as false offers of jobs and promises of safe travel to destination countries, and manipulation through traditional beliefs (juju). In some circumstances, the victims’ families support and encourage the trafficking for economic reasons.

Traffickers and trafficking networks are considered actors of persecution or serious harm.

The reach of a specific non-State actor and their ability to trace and target the applicant depend on the individual case. The individual power positions of the applicant and the actor of persecution or serious harm should be assessed, taking into consideration their social status, wealth, connections, gender, level of education, etc.

Finally, it should be noted that persecution or serious harm by non-State actors has to be assessed in light of the availability of protection according to Article 7 QD.


[18] Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011 on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA. [back to text]