NIGERIAN society news article A group of Nigerians have been celebrating a new law which aims to eradicate slavery in their country.
The Nigerian Society of Human Rights (NigSOHR) on Tuesday announced the abolition of the term “slave” from the country’s penal code.
Nigerian President Mahamadou Issoufou, who has been in office for only three months, made the announcement to mark the passing of the law.
Nig SOHR has been pushing for the abolition for years, and the law was approved by parliament in July.
It requires judges to specify the punishment that applies to the crime of slavery and the victim must be able to prove they were sold for the purpose of forced labour.
Under the new law, a person can be sentenced to two to 10 years in prison for slavery, and up to seven years for other crimes related to slavery.
A third of Niger’s 3.5 million people are still enslaved, according to the NIG SOH, which advocates against human trafficking and other forms of exploitation.
The law is the first of its kind in Africa and was first implemented in 2011.
It aims to curb the demand for the services of human traffickers and other unscrupulous operators.
Read moreNigeria has seen more than a million people, mostly women, who have been sold into slavery in recent years, according the NAG.
The government has been criticised by human rights groups for its handling of the issue.
It has been accused of making it harder to identify trafficking victims, for example, failing to register a missing person or providing a safe haven for victims, among other problems.