Research Project

The “Human Trafficking” project is a 8-months Research programme funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development.

It is a multidisciplinary and collaborative research programme which involves Nigerian and French researchers on the study of trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation from a Nigerian fieldwork.

The project aims to add knowledge to the processes of human trafficking for sexual exploitation, thereby to contribute to enlighten the strategies of prevention and fight against human trafficking in West Africa.

Context and objectives

In 2013, the French Ministry of Foreign Affair and International Development launched a Solidarity Priority Fund (FSP) to support the fight against human trafficking in the countries of the Gulf of Guinea. This 3-year programme (2013-2016) is focused on the transborder dimension of trafficking in persons among five West African countries (Benin Republic, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo). It aims at improving the abilities of these five States in order to fight against human trafficking. In particular it intends to put the victims at the heart of the strategies of prevention. Hence, this FSP mainly focuses on capacity building and cooperation strategies among the many national actors.

In this context IFRA-Nigeria is developing a research programme in order to put light on the phenomenon of human trafficking through the example of human trafficking for sexual exploitation in Nigeria. Despite growing attention from institutional and scientific stakeholders, the project recognizes the gaps in the knowledge of traffic of human beings. For example, the diversity of the actors involved, the mechanisms that support and sustain the traffic, the documentation of human rights violations suffered by victims, etc. deserve to be better explored. The places, the actors and the processes of trafficking networks are yet to be addressed from case studies of human trafficking.


The research mainly adopts a qualitative and empirical approach. It is based on original data collected on the fieldwork from various actors involved in the phenomenon of trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation: (ex-)victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation, institutional actors and, to a possible extent, actors of trafficking networks will be sought as key informants.

The project will take place in four different cities in Nigeria that are known to be “hot spots” of human trafficking: Benin city, Abuja, Lagos, Ibadan, and the Nigeria-Benin borders of Seme, Idiroko, and Shaki. The project also considers to extent the fieldwork among victims or ex-victims of human trafficking in France.

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Institute of African Studies
University of Ibadan
Ibadan, Oyo State

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