The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) is the focal Agency for the fight against the scourge of human trafficking in all its ramifications, it is empowered by the law to amongst other functions provide an effective and comprehensive Legal and Institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention, detection, prosecution and punishment of human trafficking and other related offences in Nigeria.
The NAPTIP E-Digest is a platform created by the Director – General in line with her resolve to extend NAPTIPs reach and continue to create awareness and sensitize the public on the activities of NAPTIP and the evils of human trafficking and violence against persons. It also projects various NAPTIP platforms for seeking help.
October 11th every year is a day set aside for the commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child. This is to recognise the rights and exclusive challenges that girls face around the world. NAPTIP marked the 11th of October, 2022 with the series 3 of its Survivor Co – Mentoring Series (SCS). The SCS is one of the Director – General’s initiative to build capacity of the survivors through a leadership training and mentorship programme that is designed to be co – facilitated by survivors themselves. It is an opportunity for survivors to draw from their own unique experiences to advise, mentor and encourage others. The theme of this year’s International Day of the Girl Child is “Internet Safety in a Digital Generation” The SCS 3 provided an avenue for the survivors to be exposed to the dynamic digital world and how to navigate the digital world without being caught in some of its negative opportunities. Details of this are contained in this edition of the News Digest.
This edition also reports the Launch of the Internet Safety Pledge which is aimed at intensifying awareness on then use and abuse of the internet, especially with the constant technological advancements which has made the internet a hub for human trafficking and other forms of online exploitation.
In October edition of the news digest there is also a report of the week-long training of NAPTIP officers and other related agencies, including the Federal Ministry of Justice on understanding and interpreting cybertipline reports, the use of NCMEC’s case management tool, and the Basic online investigation together with the report of the High-Level Meeting on the Presentation of the National Action Plan on Human Trafficking in Nigeria (2022-2026) to the heads of relevant organizations and stakeholders
The October edition of the News Digest is parked with stories of NAPTIP activities within the month of October. It is also the month NAPTIP surpassed its previous record of the most number of convictions recorded in a calendar year. The record was set at fifty-two (52) in 2006, however so far this year, NAPTIP has recorded fifty-three (53) convictions for various offenders of trafficking in persons and violence against persons. This is also in – line with the Director – General’s resolve to scale – up convictions as a major form of deterrence for human trafficking and violence against persons.
Please enjoy the October edition of NAPTIP News Digest.
NAPTIP Launch Internet Safety Pledge
On October 11, 2022, the Director General, Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi Launched the NAPTIP Internet Safety Pledge to amplify awareness on the use and abuse of the internet, especially with the massive digital explosion in the past couple of years. Technological advances has made the internet a recruitment ground for traffickers and child exploiters.
This initiative aligns with the Director General’s third thematic priority to amplify age-appropriate awareness campaigns against human trafficking and sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria. The NAPTIP Internet Safety pledge is inspired by the increasingly reported incidences of online child exploitation and sextortion. The Launch of the NAPTIP Internet Safety Pledge comes shortly after NAPTIP and Meta (parent company of facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) Launched AMBER Alert on Facebook and Instagram making Nigeria the second country in Africa and the 29th in the world with the AMBER Alert Program. The AMBER Alert program is aimed at helping in locating abducted children by sending AMBER Alert to the local Facebook and Instagram community within a 160 kilometre radius from where the child is last seen.
Speaking about the significance of the Pledge, Dr Waziri encouraged all parent, teachers, guidance, and counsellors to get involved and help children stay safe while online as the bad guys now have easy and direct access to children via the internet thereby giving ill- intended people access to a vast pool of potential victims they can exploit online. “Traffickers now recruit teenage recruiters and teach them on how to seduce their fellow teens by deceit and fraud. It is therefore our collective responsibility to effectively guard young people on how to use the internet in a safe and responsible way”, she emphasized.
The NAPTIP Internet Safety Pledge was signed by all victims across NAPTIP’s 13 shelters and the Director General calls on the public to download the NAPTIP Internet Safety Pledge, adapt, personalize and publish it as a family pledge between children and parents; teachers and students, guidance and ward on computer use.download the NAPTIP Internet Safety Pledge
Understanding and Interpreting Cybertipline Reports, the use of NCMEC’s Case Management Tool, and Basic Online Investigation
On October 3rd to October 7th 2022, 20 officers of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) from 9 Zonal Command and the FCT (Sokoto, Uyo, Maiduguri, Benue kano Osun, Enugu, Benin and Lagos), and five officers from INTERPOL, EFCC and the Federal Ministry of Justice participated in a 5-day training on the Use of NCMEC’s Case Management Tool; Understanding and Interpreting Cyber Tipline Reports; and Basic Online Investigation Techniques.
The purpose of the training was to enhance the capacity of law enforcement officers in Nigeria to respond efficiently to online child sexual exploitation. The program was organised by the International Justice Mission (IJM) in collaboration with the US-based National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) with funding from Meta (Parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. The training was led by Brandon Kaopuiki (Technical Advisor, IJM) and sessions were facilitated by Jason Barry (Trust & Safety Manager, Meta); Kathryn Rifenbark (NCMEC); Mohammed B (UNODC); Evon Benson-Idahosa (Founder and Executive Director of Pathfinders Justice Initiative;
In her opening remarks the Director General of NAPTIP, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi stated that the training was not only aimed at strengthening the capacity of law enforcement in Nigeria to adequately respond to the growing trend of online sexual exploitation and sextortion but also to strengthen inter-agency collaboration in tackling these crimes. She further highlighted that, though cases of sextortion were challenging to investigate and prosecute, NAPTIP was already investigation a number of sextortion cases where children are cat-fished and deceived to share nude photos of themselves online, “hence building our capacity is something we must do and keep doing if we intend to curb this crime, the Director General emphasized.
She further stated that section 17 of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act 2015 (as re-enacted) empowers NAPTIP to investigate and prosecute cases of child sexual exploitation including pornography. “It is a very serious crime under our act and difficult and complex to prosecute and perpetrators difficult to apprehend because of the very nature of the crime” she stated.
Through this training participants have been equipped with the requisite understanding of NCMEC and its Case Management Tool, how to respond to Cyber Tipline Reports, effective handling of Child Sexual Exploitation Materials (CSEM) and basic online investigation and open-Source / social-media intelligence.
To further tackle online child exploitation, the Agency is in partnership with NCMEC which has given NAPTIP unrestricted access to the NCMEC case management database; has established a Cybercrime Taskforce and in partnership with Meta, launched the AMBER Alert on Facebook and Instagram in Nigeria to help find missing and abducted children.
NAPTIP Commemorate the 2022 International Day of the Girl Child with the Survivors Co-Mentoring Series Three (3)
In 2011, the United Nation declared October 11th the International Day of the Girl Child to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. All available indices project women and girls as the most vulnerable to human trafficking and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV). The theme for the 2022 International Day of the Girl Child calls for deep reflection on The Digital Generation and Internet Safety.
In Nigeria, the increased use of digital technologies like computers, tablets and smartphones have proven to be an advantage as well as a disadvantage. Young people have increasingly become victims of cyber bullying and online exploitation such as sextual exploitation, human trafficking and sextortion through various social media platforms and other means on the internet. As such, to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child, the Survivors Co-Mentoring Series Three (3) was held a hybrid event at the NAPTIP Abuja shelter.
The Survivor Co-Mentoring Series (SCS) is a leadership training and mentorship programme that is curated and co-facilitated by survivors. It recognises the importance of mainstreaming the voices of survivors, hence, all activities and interventions are undertaken in their best interest.
The first 2 Series of this program featured various curricular and extra-curricular activities including a hybrid workshop on “Survive and Strive Together” facilitated by survivors; In-person workshop on “Recovering Healing through Healthy Behaviour”; Medical Clinic and Trauma-Healing Session, Art (Painting), Literature (Quiz), Cinema/Movie Nights, Yoga Meditation and Healing Session, Peer-to-Peer Workshops and Outdoor Engagements.
The Series 3 began with a mid-quarter assessment survey designed to have one-one and small-group interactions to elicit feedback from survivors on the various activities from the SCS program, propose new activities to be included in future programs, and their overall experience at the NAPTIP Shelter. The exercise also provides an opportunity for counselling to help survivors communicate their desires, and to enable NAPTIP design a personalized care plan for each survivor.
Furthermore, a one-day workshop was organized with the theme internet safety in a digital generation in commemoration of the 2022 International Day for the Girl Child. The event was attended by 83 Survivors from NAPTIP and WOTCLEF Shelters, 45 were present in person while 38 participated virtually.
The workshop acknowledged the growing digital world and how this has contributed to creating vulnerabilities around issues of SGBV and human trafficking. The workshop further highlighted the fact that traffickers are now moving from offline to online recruitment of unsuspecting victims and the importance of identifying reds while surfing the internet. The NAPTIP Internet Safety Pledge designed to keep young people whilst online was launched and the Director General of NAPTIP, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi impressed on all young people to take the pledge seriously.
The workshop included a technical sessions by experts which focused on mentors taking the survivors through basic tips to the use of the computer and internet; social media security; overview of the Amber Alert on Facebook and Instagram; and online child sexual exploitation.
The workshop ended with copies of the Internet Safety Pledge given to survivors to pledge, sign, keep, and abide by.
One-day Consultative Stakeholders Meeting on the Implementation of The National Action Plan on Human Trafficking in Nigeria (2022 – 2026)
To end the Month, on Monday, 31st October 2022, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in collaboration with UNODC and other development partners hosted a one (1) day high-level meeting to present the National Action Plan on Human Trafficking in Nigeria (2022 – 2026) to Heads of Ministries Departments and Agencies and other Stakeholders. If you will recall earlier this year, on 23rd February, 2022 the Federal Executive Council approved the National Action Plan on Human Trafficking in Nigeria (2022 – 2026) and in consideration of the fact that combatting Human Trafficking requires a multi-sectoral response and an all-inclusive approach, in order to strengthen the policy framework and response to the Action Plan premised the significance of this convening.
The event which was held at The Wells Carlton Hotel and Apartment Asokoro- Abuja, Nigeria had in attendance Head of Organisations and other high level officers representing relevant MDAs and Organisations including Federal Government Institutions, Law Enforcement Agencies, Civil Society Organisations and Development Partners. The following organisations were present at the meeting: Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development, NERDC, Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, NOA, NIDCOM, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Expertise France, UNODC, UNHCR, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), NBA, WOTCLEF, FIIAPP, NACTAL, Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, CAN, NEMA, NCFRMI, Office of the Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, National Intelligence Agency, NAN, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Federal Road Safety Corps, FIDA Nigeria, Nigeria Correctional Services. Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, ICPC, Embassy of Benin Republic, National Human Rights Commission, and the Media.
Speaking about the objectives and expected outcome of the meeting, Mr. Olusayo Olubiyi, the Director of Research and Programme Development (RPD) informed stated “the broad objective of the Forum is to share the aspirations of the National Action Plan (NAP) on Human Trafficking in Nigeria (2022 – 2026) with all the Chief Executives of duty-bearing Ministries, Department, Agencies, civil society and development partners who have specific roles to play in the implementation of the NAP”. He further stated that the document is the national blueprint for the coordination of counter-trafficking interventions in Nigeria for the next five years and invites stakeholders to share ideas on the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for projects under the NAP. He also invites all participants to make the most of the meeting to strengthen synergy towards achieving the ultimate outcome. “The ultimate outcome is the anticipated drastic reduction in the crime of human trafficking in Nigeria” he concludes.
Declaring the event open, the honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHADSD), Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, in her speech presented by Mr. Charles Nwanelo commended the leadership of NAPTIP for setting all machinery in motion that led to the development, drafting, review and finalization of this National Action Plan on Human Trafficking in Nigeria (2022 -2026). She also commended the stakeholders and partners for taking responsibility to be part of this high-level meeting and urge all to continue in the tempo in helping make the NAP document reality “this Policy could not have come at a better time than now when the country is facing a number of social, humanitarian and developmental issues such as flooding and insecurity; culminating in the displacement and the attendant unwholesome exposure of citizens to high vulnerability to human trafficking and related vices” she emphasized.
In her opening Remark, the Director General NAPTIP Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi, welcomed all stakeholders to the meeting and commended their commitment and partnership in the fight against human trafficking. Speaking about the significance of the meeting Dr. Waziri, noted the various roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders in the National Action Plan on Human Trafficking in Nigeria (2022 – 2026), and invite everyone to commit to the course .for better coordination of stakeholders’ efforts, greater effectiveness and efficiency in achieving the five thematic pillars in the fight against human trafficking in Nigeria which are:
- Protection and Assistance
- Research and Assessment, Data Management and Statistics/ Monitoring and Evaluation.
- Prosecution, law enforcement, access to justice
- Partnership and Coordination/ Digitization
The Director General acknowledged and thanked the Government of Switzerland for funding the development of this National Action Plan on Human Trafficking in Nigeria (2022-2026), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and other relevant Stakeholders for technical support that has advanced the prospects of the National Action Plan to where we are today.
The meeting also covered presentations on Overview of the National Action Plan/Responsibilities of duty bearing Agencies, by mr. Gav I. Festus; NAP Financing Strategy by Mr. Oloyede Afolabi NAPTIP Ag. Director(Finance & Account,; NAP Implementation Progress & Priorities for the next 1 year, NAP Coordination; Monitoring and Accountability Frameworks by Mr. Rasheed Olatunji and Stocktaking of NAP implementation by representative of IOM
The long-day event culminates to a futuristic discussion on the next steps and clarifying the roles and responsibilities of the various partners in the National Action Plan.
At the end of the meeting, Stakeholders at agreed among other things that all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) at Federal and State levels as well as Civil Society Organisations and the Organised private sector will: Partner with NAPTIP and other relevant stakeholders towards actualizing the mission of the National Action Plan; develop an annual work plan with activities excerpted directly from priority clusters of the National Action Plan and make financial commitments towards the implementation of identified programmes and projects proposed yearly actions in the National Action Plan; and heed to clarion calls attend periodic progress meeting to evaluate progress and decide next steps.
October 28th 2022 NAPTIP surpassed its previous record of the most number of convictions recorded in a calendar year. The record was set at fifty-two (52) in 2006, however so far this year, NAPTIP has recorded fifty-three (53) convictions for various offenders of trafficking in persons and violence against persons. This is also in – line with the Director General’s number one strategic priority to scale – up convictions as a major form of deterrence for human trafficking and violence against persons.
- 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence
- Psychological First Aid Training for NAPTIP Staff