Human Trafficking: NAPTIP rescues 17,000 victims
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) says it rescued over 17,000 victims of human trafficking and jailed over 550 traffickers.
Its Director-General, Sen. Basheer Muhammed, disclosed this on Tuesday during a joint briefing in Abuja ahead of the 2021 World Day Against Human Trafficking scheduled for July 30.
The briefing was in collaboration with the International Organisation on Migration (IOM) and the International and Ibero American Foundation (FIIAPP).
Muhammed said the agency would continue to rescue, counsel, rehabilitate and empower victims of human trafficking and ensure that offenders were prosecuted with a view to ending the menace.
He added that “as at last count, over 550 traffickers were jailed, with many cases at various prosecution stages in courts across the country.
“Over 17,000 victims were rescued and a good number of them were trained and empowered.”
He said that as part of the 2021 World Day Against Human Trafficking, the agency would unveil the “Strengthing Nigeria’s Criminal Justice Response to Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants-PROMIS” project, supported by the Netherlands.
In addition, the “Strenthening Trans-Regional Action and Responses against the Smuggling of Migrants-STARSOM” project supported by Canada would also be launched, to be implemented by the UNODC.
The NAPTIP boss revealed that the harmonised Screening and Reporting Tools for identification of Victims of Human Trafficking developed with the support of the IOM would also be launched.
According to him, the projects will help in addressing identified gaps in the criminal response to Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (TIP/SOM).
He said it would also strengthen capacities to prevent, investigate and prosecute TIP/SOM cases, combat activities of migrant smuggling networks and enhance law enforcement and judicial responses.
Mr Joseph Sanwo, the Senior Project Officer, FIAPP A-TIPSOM, said that the organisation, with support of the European Union (EU), donated forensic equipment to NAPTIP to support investigation activities to curb trafficking and migration.
“FIAPP supports and will continue to support the agency in the areas of prevention.
“We support in the area of policy making, investigation and prosecution of cases.
“Two weeks ago, we donated some intelligence and forensic equipment to the agency to support their investigation activities.
“We encourage the agency to ensure that victims of trafficking are rescued and suspects are prosecuted,” he said.
He, therefore, stressed the need for NAPTIP to continue to partner with the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other partners in achieving mandates.
The Head of Programme of IOM, Prestage Murima, who spoke on behalf of the organisation and UNODC, stressed the need to ensure that migrant victims voices were heard to curb the practice.
“We shall continue to provide rehabilitative recovery support, improve medical care, psycho-social support.
“We urge partners to hear the voices of victims so that we can bring justice and assist in reintegrating them into the communities,” Murima said.
According to her, the organisations will continue to support NAPTIP in the collection of data and strengthen policy framework.
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