NAPTIP unveils 3 projects to fight human trafficking

 The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has unveiled three new projects to fight human trafficking across the country.

NAPTIP’s Director-General, Sen. Basheer Mohammed, stated this on Friday in Abuja at a ceremony to commemorate the 2021 “Human Trafficking Day’’.

Mohammed was represented at the occasion by Mr Hassan Tahir, the Director of Legal and Prosecution of the agency.

He listed the projects as: Strengthening of Nigeria’s Criminal Justice Response to Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants-PROMIS (TIP/SOM), and Strengthening of Trans-Regional Action and Responses against the Smuggling of Migrants (STARSOM).

Mohammed mentioned the third project as `Harmonised Screening and Reporting Tools for identification of victims of human trafficking’.

According to him, PROMIS (TIP/SOM) and STARSOM are supported by the governments of Netherlands and Canada.

Mohammed said that the Harmonised Screening and Reporting Tools for identification of victims of human trafficking was developed by NAPTIP, Nigeria Police, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and civil society organisations.

He explained that the first project would seek to strengthen national capacities to prevent, investigate and prosecute TIP/SOM cases in line with international human rights standard.

The director-general said it would also reinforced international cooperation and internal coordination in investigating and prosecuting TIP/SOM in line with human rights law.

Mohammed said the second project would be implemented by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC) in close coordination with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).

He added that it was aimed at supporting Nigeria in combating the activities of migrants smuggling networks and the threat it posed to smuggled migrants by enhancing law enforcement, judicial responses and strategies beyond interdiction activities.

Mohammed said the agency had increased its presence in more than 12 states of the federation as a way of boosting its operations and to also penetrate all part of the country to outsmart traffickers.

The UN Resident Coordinator to Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, called on all civil society groups, government and all stakeholders to adopt cooperative approach toward fighting human trafficking.

Kallon stated that Nigeria must take necessary steps to strengthen prevention, support victims and bring perpetrators to justice including the implementation of the UN convention against transnational organised crime and its protocol.

He gave the assurance that the UN would continue to support Nigeria in its efforts to address the issue of human trafficking through a number of ongoing initiatives.

“UN is providing humanitarian, legal and financial aid to victims of trafficking in persons through the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for victims of trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

“We remain committed to backing the government with implementation of its victim-centered counter-trafficking policies and interventions and with the strengthening of its criminal justice response,’’ Kallon said.

Our correspondent reports that the theme of the 2021 human trafficking day was “Victims Voices Lead the Way’’.


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