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NAPTIP DG Counsels World Leaders on Human Trafficking

The Director–General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Julie Okah–Donli, has urged world leaders to make concerted efforts towards the eradication of trafficking in persons and irregular migration.

According to her, the daily casualties and other misfortunes associated with human trafficking and irregular migration especially through the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara desert call for better handling by world leaders.

‘’There is an urgent need for greater political and economic will by Governments in tackling people smuggling and trafficking in human beings and the implementation of the Post-Valletta Action Plan and the African Union Initiatives....I strongly recommend that Governments should further consolidate counter-trafficking efforts by strengthening institutional and legal frameworks to stem the tide of Human Trafficking.”, she stated.

The Director General stated these today in London at the ongoing ‘Khartoum Process’ thematic meeting on tackling people smuggling and trafficking in human beings through enhancing border management.

She also called for a well articulated and synergized structure for Law Enforcement cooperation and exchange of information and intelligence between Europe and the West African sub-region as a way of tackling the problems.

She said, “Against this backdrop, a well articulated and synergized structure for Law Enforcement cooperation and exchange of information and intelligence is desirable especially between Europe and the West Africa sub-region.

‘’I would also recommend that pragmatic interventions be streamlined across regions to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of anti-trafficking efforts for a cohesive and consistent approach to such interventions. This is to prevent duplication of efforts and to build positive momentum in our continued efforts to rid the world of this ogre called human trafficking’’.

While outlining some of the key policies put in place by the Government of Nigeria to tackle incidences of human trafficking and illegal migration, she reiterated the determination of the management of the Agency to ensure full implementation of all the thematic procedures geared towards the eradication of trafficking in persons.

She said that the Nigerian Government has shown commitment in implementing the principles of the Valletta Action Plan in its anti-trafficking response with such actions as Re-enactment of the Anti-Trafficking Act to close loopholes in the initial legislation, and to ensure more effective prosecution of Human Trafficking offences.

Other actions according to her are: Development of a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Law Enforcement Agencies on Trafficking in Persons; Training for Instructors of Law Enforcement Training Academies on Trafficking; and Technical assistance to other countries in the West African Region and other parts of the world to strengthen their institutional and legal frameworks to better respond to the crime of Human Trafficking in their domains.

She also listed more actions as: Strengthening operational cooperation amongst Law Enforcement Agencies in Nigeria such the Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Police Force and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency; Continuous training and retraining of judges and other law enforcement officers on the new trends in the counter-trafficking efforts; Mainstreaming of Human Trafficking issues into the curricula of primary and secondary schools in Nigeria; and Engagement with destination countries, especially in Europe, on mitigating incidences of human trafficking through technical and intelligence cooperation as well as grassroots mobilization to engender behaviour and cultural change.

‘’The NAPTIP model, which converges both frameworks, has served Nigeria and the global community so well, and it is my firm belief that similar arrangements in other countries across the world will greatly enhance the global response to this heinous crime’’, she added.

Okah-Donli however pointed out that the meeting was important in addressing the global challenges and opportunities in effectively tacking people smuggling and trafficking in line with the core priorities of the Khartoum Process and the Post-Valletta Action Plan.

The high powered International meeting is being attended by Heads of specialized crime fighting Agencies around the World.

Adekoye Vincent

For: Head, Press and Public Relations Units