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April 17, 2024

NAPTIP inaugurates new project to fight human trafficking, irregular migration

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By Aderogba George

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on Tuesday in Abuja inaugurated a new project called “The Ark” to further fight human trafficking.

The Director-General of NAPTIP, Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi, made this known at a joint news conference with officials of the Canadian Embassy.

Waziri-Azi said that the project would also help to tackle irregular migration and child labour.

She said “The Ark” is a social enterprise, empowering local communities through the provision of agile and sustainable interventions to create greater stability, opportunity and hope for the future.

The director-general noted that “The Ark” would serve as a technical partner to NAPTIP, saying that the project was supported by the Canadian government.

Waziri-Azi said that the project would be implemented for the agency by the UK-based Ark group, as the activities expected under the project was expected to be impactful.

According to her, activities expected under this project include: Re-designing and re-developing the NAPTIP iReporter mobile App, a tool for reporting cases of human trafficking, child labour and violence against persons.

She said that the project would provide on time, real time information on cases, location of the reporter and the suspect.

“There will be offline community-based sensitisation campaigns in endemic parts of the country and along known trafficking and smuggling routes.

“Also, capacity building for NAPTIP Public Enlightenment and Public Relations Officers will be organised on how to design, inform and deploy appropriate messages targeted at specific audience.

“This project will scale awareness, empower and motivate individuals and organisations to take action to reduce the problem. There is significant misinformation out there around issues of human trafficking.

“Changing these narratives is something we must consistently do,” she said.

Waziri-Azi also stated that the Canadian Government had so long supported the efforts of the Nigerian Government in several interventions in the fight against human trafficking and had remained a dependable partner since 2018.

The director-general stated that human trafficking remained one of the most serious human rights violations.

According to her, in 2022, NAPTIP received1440 reported cases of trafficking in persons; 412 external trafficking cases and 1,028 internal trafficking cases.

She said that 2,743 victims were rescued in collaboration with other sister law enforcement agencies; comprising both male and female, children and adults

Waziri-Azi stated that the agency was already having 17 convictions for 2023, saying that cumulatively, the agency had secured 592 convictions since its first conviction in 2004.

According to her, 262 cases are also in various courts across the country.

The Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr James Christoff, noted that the issue of human trafficking had been a general issue around the world, saying that of Nigeria was on a high scale.

Christoff said that the Canadian Government was ready to combat criminal trafficking in different organisations.

He said that the government was working closely with NAPTIP to stem the tide in Nigeria.

According to him, these include the provision of fund, capacity building training and others to bring to an end the menace.

He said that the country’s partnership with Nigeria was on  stream so that they could jointly tackle the challenge together.

“We have a very good partnership with NAPTIP and we are happy to collaborate with you,” he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Modupe Adeloye/Adeleye Ajayi

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