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NAPTIP trains Heads of Anti-Trafficking Units on combating crime

 September 10, 2022  4 min read

Anti-Trafficking training organised by NAPTIP

-agency report

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on Friday trained the Heads of Anti-Trafficking Units of the Nigeria Police Force across the country on best ways and effective tips to combat human trafficking.

The training took place at the Dover Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.

Mr Arinze Orakwe, Director of Training and Manpower Development, NAPTIP, in his opening remarks, said that the programme was part of Initiatives to develop the capacity of the police across the 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

Orakwe also said that the training was to remind participants of their specific and general role as the Nigeria Police Force and as chief law enforcement agency in the country.

“This is a programme designed by the Director-General of NAPTIP to build synergy with the police and also to erect structures within communities that are tuned to demands of trafficking.

“NAPTIP just has nine zonal offices, about eight state offices and liaison offices. It is still not enough compared to Police, with presence in the 774 local governments areas.

“So, we really need the Police and that is why we have identified these trafficking units and training of the personnel to identify trafficking in persons, victims, protocols, referrals, protocols for return, integration and communication.

“Trafficking of persons has one definition as given by United Nations because those are the specific demands that are made of the agency and we need to make them to understand this,” he added.

The NAPTIP official noted that combating trafficking was most important for the survival of the nation.

He added that the training was to equally make participants understand different measures to handle trafficking related cases.

“What NAPTIP has done with the support of ECOWAS is to invite other countries in the West Coast to enact similar laws, set up similar agencies like we have same in Ghana, Gambia, Niger.

“International organisations are helping us populate similar decision in West African region.”

Speaking, Bertha Ngurulu, Project Officer, Counter Trafficking and Mixed Migration with the Inter Organisation for Migration (IOM), said that there was need for collaboration and partnership of stakeholders to provide comprehensive assistance to victims of trafficking in the areas of investigation and prosecution.

Ngurulu called on citizens, particularly youths, being offered job or study abroad in foreign countries for greener pastures to be careful in order not to fall victim of trafficking.

According to her, some countries in the Middle East are known for exploitation and a certain group of young girls in a nationality are usually targeted.

“Therefore, it’s an indicator that trafficking is involved.

“The message for everyone, particularly young people, seeking greener pastures abroad is that whenever they are in doubt of any offer and do not have adequate or genuine information on where they are going, they should please reach out to NAPTIP.

“It is most important so that they can be guided.

“For example, when you’re being offered a job that you don’t have the requirements and not qualified to get, know there’s more to it,” she added.

Meanwhile, Mr Bello Omotosho, Technical Advisor in charge of Component One of Governance Component, Action Against Trafficking In Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (A-TIPSOM), described the programme as holistic approach against trafficking.

Omotosho said that no fewer than 60 participants were taking part in the A-TIPSOM, a project funded by European Union and Implemented by International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP).

He added that it was collaborating with IOM to support the NAPTIP to train the Heads of Anti-Human Trafficking Units of the Nigeria Police Force from the 36 States of the Federation, FCT and the FCID.

He said that the platform also provided an enabling environment for stakeholders to henceforth work together and relate with one another on the fight against trafficking.

According to him, capacity of the heads of Anti-Trafficking Units of the Nigeria Police Force have been built and equipped with relevant skills to respond in a timely manner to cases that come to their knowledge.

“The essence of this training is to ensure that the existing inter agency rivalry between NAPTIP and the Nigerian Police in the area of combating trafficking is bridged to a point where they are able to work together, respond to the issues and assist victims of this crime.

“Our expectations is that part of the fall out from this training is that we will be able to see that cases are being referred and feedbacks are also being provided as part of commitment from the participants,” he added.

Omotosho expressed confidence that the programme would be continuous.

“We are hoping to replicate the same with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) whereby we have NIS, the Police and NAPTIP, even Civil Society Organisations, collaborate.

“The NIS is always at the border and can easily detect the crime when it has to do with cross border trafficking and refer to either NAPTIP or Police, knowing fully well that NAPTIP’s presence is limited.

“We also have a body that is supporting NAPTIP in this fight called Network of Society Coalition Against Trafficking and Abuse.

“So, with all these collaboration, there is no hiding place for the perpetrators of this crime,” he said. – NAN

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