Introduction


Dear friends and esteemed partners, welcome to the February 2024 edition of NAPTIP E–News Digest.

This month we bring you exciting stories from the Launch of the Schools Anti-Trafficking Education and Advocacy Project (STEAP) in Nigeria, the NAPTIP in–house training and capacity building for Investigators and Prosecutors of the Agency, and all the details from the 2024 first quarter meetings of the High-Level Multi-Agency Task – Team (HIMAT) and the Service Providers Accountability Resource Committee (SPARC).

Enjoy!


Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi, Ph.D.
Director-General, NAPTIP

Strengthening Schools and Community Response: Launch of STEAM Against Human Trafficking


In a resolute response to the pervasive issue of human trafficking, Nigeria takes a decisive step forward with the launch of the School Anti-Trafficking Education and Advocacy Project (STEAP). Spearheaded by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) in partnership with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, STEAP emerges as yet another preventive measure against exploitation and abuse that adopts a whole of society and whole of government approach.

STEAP’s mission is to: raise awareness among students, parents, teachers, and communities about the perils of trafficking. Through targeted and existing educational programs and advocacy efforts, STEAP aims to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to curtail potential trafficking incidents.

The launch event on February 5th, 2024, comprised two significant components: the signing ceremony and the workshop for all stakeholders. The signing ceremony marked the formal commencement of STEAP, uniting stakeholders from Enugu, Edo, Benue, Oyo, and Delta states, the select project states. Together, they pledged to implement comprehensive strategies aimed at eradicating trafficking and shielding vulnerable individuals, especially children and youths, from exploitation and abuse. The event underscored the collective commitment of government agencies, international partners, civil society organizations, and the media in tackling this pressing issue.

During the launch, Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi, the DG NAPTIP reaffirmed the Nigerian government’s stance against trafficking. She extended heartfelt gratitude to the Kingdom of Netherlands and the Head ICMPD West Africa for their unwavering support, highlighting their pivotal role in infusing anti-trafficking content into Nigeria’s basic education curriculum. She further underscored NAPTIP’s commitment to working with education stakeholders across public and private institutions, emphasizing the agency’s efforts in inaugurating anti-TIP/VAP Vanguards in 108 Government Secondary Schools, including Military Schools nationwide since December 2021 to date.

The Head ICMPD West Africa, Dr. Mojisola Sodeinde, emphasized the need of engaging parents and involving civil society organizations in sensitizing local communities. She reiterated ICMPD’s commitment to compliment the efforts of the Nigerian government in the fight against trafficking, characterizing it as a battle for the future.

On the same token the Minister of Education, Kingdom of Netherlands, Geoffrey Van Leeuwen, commended Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi leadership in NAPTIP and hailed the STEAP Project as timely and crucial, emphasizing its role in protecting Nigerian students from irregular migration and trafficking. His words echoed a shared sentiment among stakeholders, highlighting the imperative of collective action in combating trafficking.

Following the signing ceremony, the workshop on 6th February 2024 delved into practical strategies for combatting trafficking. Speakers expounded on the complexities of trafficking and the imperative of collaboration in confronting this grave challenge.

The launch of STEAP was attended by representatives from NAPTIP, ICMPD, The Kingdom of the Netherlands, government officials, school administrators, students, NACTAL, representatives from the five project states, and 50 students from Government Secondary School Gwarinpa and Government Girls Secondary School Dutse.


NAPTIP Capacity Building for Investigators and Prosecutors on The Provisions of The Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) (VAPP) Act, 2015: 14th – 15th February, 2024.


The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) with support from the Ford Foundation under the project, “Strengthening Government Approach in Preventing and Responding to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in Nigeria”, organized a capacity building for NAPTIP investigators and Prosecutors on the provisions of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, 2015 (VAPPA) and handling of SGBV cases, which held at the NAPTIP Training Resource Centre, Abuja. The aim of the training was to enhance synergy between relevant departments in investigating and prosecuting SGBV cases.

The training was delivered using the student-centered problem-solving technique which places students at the center of the learning process and encourages them to actively engage in solving real-world problems. The technique focused on critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills while addressing authentic challenges or issues

The Director–General of NAPTIP, Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi delivered the first lecture of the day. She took the officers through an in-depth analysis of VAPP offences guiding officers through the meaning and element of each VAPP offence and the need to properly categorize an offense.  The DG further cautions investigators to be less reliant on confessional statement and focus more of evidence gathering.

Other lectures delivered by experienced officers of NAPTIP focused on Investigative Strategies in SGBV cases, building case team and Strengthening Investigators and Prosecutors Relationship in Handling SGBV Cases, Evidence Mapping for Investigation Planning and Fieldwork in Handling SGBV cases, the role of Investigation and Prosecution in the effective enforcement of Protection Orders, Roles of Key Departments on the Implementation of VAPP Act and Workplace Emotional Intelligence.

At the end of the 2-Day training, it is expected that the trained officers take ownership of their learning, develop critical thinking skills, and apply their knowledge to real-world challenges.


NAPTIP Hosts 2024 First Quarter HIMAT and SPARC Meeting


The Hi-Level Multi-Agency Task Team (Hi-MAT) and Service Providers Accountability Resource Committee (SPARC) first quarter meetings held on the 21st and 22nd of February, respectively. Both meetings form activities aimed at improving coordination, cooperation, and information sharing between core referral agencies and service providers under the ‘Strengthening Government Approach and Commitment to Preventing and Responding to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria’ Project supported by the Ford Foundation.

Representatives from ten (10) core referral agencies in the implementation of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015, which make up the composition of HiMAT members attended the meeting. They include: the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Federal Ministry of Justice, Ministry of FCT (Women Affairs Secretariat), High Court of the FCT, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Correctional Service, National Human Rights Commission, National Identity Management Commission, and the National Bureau of Statistics.

In the same vein, the following SPARC members added the meeting: Advocacy for Women with Disability Initiative (AWWDI), Centre for Family Health Initiative (CFHI), Abiodun Essiet Initiative for Girls (AEIG), Amnesty International Nigeria, Youth Alive Foundation (YAF), Women’s Rights Advancement and protection alternative (WRAPA), Citizen Participation Advancement & Awareness Initiative (CPAAI), Centre for Anti-Prostitution and Empowerment (XCAPE), Christian Women for Excellence and Empowerment in Nigeria Society (CWEENS), Auxano Foundation for Empowerment and Development (AFED), Emerging Genderplus Outreach Team (EGOT), Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF), Girls Pride Foundation (GPI), FCT Welfare Officers and NAPTIP’s 12 Protection Officers from the 6 FCT Area Councils.

The main highlight from the meetings was the formal presentation of the 2022 Annual VAPP Implementation Report to members by the VAPP Coordinator, Edeoga Chinenye Esq. Other deliberations included the review and critique of the 2023 reporting template.

Click here to view the 2022 VAPP Report.


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