The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) says it would continue to rescue, counsel, rehabilitate and empower victims of human trafficking and ensure that offenders were prosecuted with a view to ending the menace.
Director-General, Basheer Muhammed, disclosed this on Tuesday during a joint briefing in Abuja ahead of the 2021 World Day Against Human Trafficking scheduled for July 30.
He said the agency has rescued over 17,000 victims of human trafficking and jailed over 550 traffickers adding that “as at last count, over 550 traffickers were jailed, with many cases at various prosecution stages in courts across the country.
He said that as part of the 2021 World Day Against Human Trafficking, the agency would unveil the “Strengthing Nigeria’s Criminal Justice Response to Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants-PROMIS” project, supported by the Netherlands.
In addition, the “Strenthening Trans-Regional Action and Responses against the Smuggling of Migrants-STARSOM” project supported by Canada would also be launched, to be implemented by the UNODC.
Muhmmad revealed that the harmonised Screening and Reporting Tools for identification of Victims of Human Trafficking developed with the support of the IOM would also be launched.
According to him, the projects will help in addressing identified gaps in the criminal response to Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (TIP/SOM).
He said it would also strengthen capacities to prevent, investigate and prosecute TIP/SOM cases, combat activities of migrant smuggling networks and enhance law enforcement and judicial responses.
On his part, the Senior Project Officer, FIAPP A-TIPSOM, Joseph Sanwo, said the organisation, with support of the European Union (EU), donated forensic equipment to NAPTIP to support investigation activities to curb trafficking and migration.
He, therefore, stressed the need for NAPTIP to continue to partner with the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other partners in achieving mandates.
The Head of Programme of IOM, Prestage Murima, who spoke on behalf of the organisation and UNODC, stressed the need to ensure that migrant victims voices were heard to curb the practice.
According to her, the organisations will continue to support NAPTIP in the collection of data and strengthen policy framework.
The briefing was in collaboration with the International Organisation on Migration (IOM) and the International and Ibero American Foundation (FIIAPP).