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Interstate cooperation and anti-trafficking : assessing existing approaches between Nigeria and the United Kingdom

Ikeora, May N.


May N. Ikeora


Joel Quirk

Richard Burchill


Even though it is over a century since the abolition of transatlantic slavery, people are still sold as commodities in the form of human trafficking, to be exploited for sexual services, cheap labour, domestic servitude and other emerging forms of contemporary slavery. Human Trafficking (Hereafter, Trafficking) is a transnational human rights violation that has generated renewed global attention over the last decade. Its prominence has placed the issue at the top of growing political agendas for both national governments and anti-trafficking agencies at various levels. In an effort to address the issue, the anti-trafficking regime has given rise to the 3Ps (Prevention, Protection and Prosecution) as foci areas through which states can cooperate towards tackling this modern-day slavery. Despite the measures put in place to tackle the problem including the enactment of relevant international anti-trafficking laws, the issue continues unabated due to the inadequacies of some of the approaches adopted to deal with the issue. Subsequently, these limitations have also impacted on the extent to which states have cooperated within the issue area.

This thesis is founded on the premise that human rights violations are the major causes and consequences of trafficking and that the anti-trafficking measures will continue to fall short until the concerns of those whom it intends to protect are placed at the forefront of current approaches. Whilst a rights-based approach is still giving rise to burgeoning amount of literature within the anti-trafficking discourse, this study contends that it can only be proficient, if it is broadened to cover the diverse nature and interpretations of human trafficking across various cultural traditions that often transcends legality. Hence, this thesis introduces a human-centred approach to surpass the objective of human rights in this context. It is emphasised that the adopting of such a ‗beyond law‘ approach during interaction amongst states can be useful to international cooperation in this instance.

Using a case study of trafficking between Nigeria and the UK, this research sheds more light on the contextual nature of trafficking that warrants better intervention including how both states have cooperated in this regard. Ongoing socio-economic and political factors within Nigeria and the UK are crucial to understanding the modus operandi (MO) of human trafficking. Furtherance to the MO, the extent to which both countries have addressed the current realities of the problem across their territories, in terms of internalizing anti-trafficking measures and operationalizing their 2004 bilateral cooperation is also analysed. This thesis concludes that anti-trafficking approaches needs to move on from those which are currently identified with the political interest of states to one geared towards achieving the best outcomes for those at risk/victims/survivors of trafficking.


Ikeora, M. N. (2010). Interstate cooperation and anti-trafficking : assessing existing approaches between Nigeria and the United Kingdom. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Jul 11, 2014
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Law
Public URL
Additional Information Law School, The University of Hull
Award Date Dec 1, 2010


Thesis (1.9 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2010 Ikeora, May N. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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