Human trafficking leaves no country untouched. It exists in Nigeria and around the world today, and it affects women, girls, children and youth. Nigerians are trafficked within the country and outside the borders to Europe and other continents. Human trafficking has physical, health, and psychological effects on victims.
Nigeria has an existing national policy on protection and assistance to trafficked victims. The policy was first developed in 2008 to address the growing concern of trafficking in persons in Nigeria and provide a comprehensive National Protection Strategy for assistance to Victims of Human Trafficking. However, due to emerging issues and dimensions of human trafficking which include: orphanage trafficking, mental health of victims, pro bono services, internally displaced persons among others, there is need to review the existing policy.
Consequently, as part of the activities of Action Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Nigeria Project (A-TIPSOM) funded by European Union, and implemented by The International Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP) supported National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to hold a three (3) days technical review workshop on the Zero Draft of the National Policy on Protection and Assistance to Trafficked Persons in Nigeria.
The technical workshop which started on Wednesday 19th February, 2020 in Keffi, Nasarawa State had in attendance key partners in the project which include Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and Network of CSOs Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL). Other participants at the workshop include relevant stakeholders (International Federation of Women Lawyers, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, University of Abuja, International Office for Migration, and United Nations Population Funds among others).
At the end of this workshop, participants are expected produce first draft which will further undergo validation and technical finalization before been presented to the Federal Executive Council for approval.
In an opening remark, Mr. Godwin Morka, Director of Research Development at NAPTIP and the focal person for ATIPSOM project appreciated FIIAPP and European Union for their support, and reiterated commitment of his agency to providing international standard assistance and protection services to victims of trafficking in collaboration with stakeholders.
While giving a remark, the team leader of A-TIPSOM Nigeria, Mr. Rafael Rios enjoined the stakeholders to maximize the three days’ workshop to effectively review the policy document. During his interview with Daily Trust reporter, Mr. Rafael stated that A-TIPSOM project is tackling human trafficking and smuggling of migrants in Nigeria through the 5Ps which include Prevention, Protection, Policy, Partnership and Prosecution.
The Action Against trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Nigeria (A-TIPSOM) began in 2018, through an agreement between the European Union (EU) and the Government of Nigeria, with the objective to reduce the trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, at national, regional and international level, and between Nigeria and the European Union, with specific emphasis in women and children, working with main Nigerian agencies, such as NAPTIP, NIS, NPF and the representative of the civil society, NACTAL.