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EU to end human trafficking in Nigeria

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By Usman Oladimeji

FG urged to intensify its endeavors in responding to trafficking acts.

At a conference held in Abuja, Mr. Ron Hendrix, the EU Programme Officer responsible for Migration, Organized Crime, and Drug Control, highlighted the European Union’s unwavering dedication to combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (TIPSOM) within Nigeria. The conference was facilitated by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) aimed to combat human trafficking with the backing of a Foundation for Administration and Public Policy (FIIAPP), an international organization dedicated to promoting effective public policy and administration.

Hendrix disclosed that the EU has plans to extend its assistance by embarking on a specialized program in alliance with the UN Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC) and FIIAPP. This joint effort is projected to commence in the beginning of 2024, with the aim of curtailing instances of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. Thus, he urged the Federal Government to intensify its endeavors in preventing and effectively responding to the act of smuggling migrants, as well as finding solutions to reduce unauthorized migration.

European Commission aims to reinforce the role of Europols.

The EU programme officer pointed out the importance of maintaining the Union’s guiding framework in the fight against trafficking, while also urging members and stakeholders to persist in this direction. This framework consists of policy, prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership. Specifically, the officer highlighted the significance of Policy, which acts as a foundational basis and framework for all stakeholders involved. Moreover, the officer acknowledged the need for flexibility in adapting this framework when circumstances change. Also, the EU has recently put forth a proposition to enhance its legal structure.

This plan includes establishing a set of basic regulations to deter and combat unauthorized entry, transit, and residence in the EU, with well-defined goals. It was revealed that the European Commission aims to reinforce the role of Europols and promote collaboration among different agencies to effectively combat the issue of migrant smuggling and human trafficking. According to Hendrix, achieving this goal requires the European Commission to enhance collaboration at the EU level, foster closer cooperation between different agencies, enhance the exchange of information, fortify available resources, and enhance Europol support by increasing the deployment of personnel.

JBTF effectively executed various human trafficking missions.

While the Nigerian government falls short of meeting the minimum standards for eliminating trafficking, it is actively undertaking substantial measures to address this issue. These measures encompass amplifying investigations into traffickers, including everyone who is suspected of being involved in trafficking activities, as well as intensifying prosecutions and convictions. Also, there has been an improvement in identifying more victims and ensuring that all those identified receive appropriate care. Furthermore, the government has implemented several programs specifically designed to address the issue.

Also, the Nigerian-UK collaboration, Joint Border Task Force (JBTF), effectively executed various cross-border missions to combat human trafficking aimed to disrupt, unmask any organized crime syndicates operating both in Nigeria and overseas. Additionally, the Nigerian government displayed its commitment to addressing this significant issue by establishing bilateral arrangements with other nations including The Gambia, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Germany, India, and Spain. NAPTIP also organized awareness campaigns on trafficking across various regions, alongside sustaining efforts in raising awareness within educational institutes and faith-based establishments.

Utilizing research data can disrupt human trafficking cycle.

Despite several endeavors, human trafficking continues to wreak havoc on Nigerian society. By utilizing research and data to unearth valuable insights, there is a possibility to disrupt the never-ending cycle of human trafficking and equip governments with crucial information and assistance to tackle the underlying causes of this issue. Africa’s most populous country, remains a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons including forced labour and forced prostitution.


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