The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), on Monday began intensive coaching for members of the newly-introduced Lagos State Human Trafficking Taskforce.
Mrs Julie Okah-Donli, the Director-General, NAPTIP, said at the training of the taskforce in Lagos that the training was to ensure effective operations of the team.
“This training is to enhance state and non-state multi-sectoral responses toward combating human trafficking in Lagos, and Nigeria as a whole.
“The membership of the taskforce are drawn from a wide spectrum of key stakeholders in the state.
“They include government officials, law enforcement agencies, traditional institutions, community and opinion leaders, religious leaders, transport owners and workers, women and youth groups.
“Also included are civil society and community based organisations among others,” Okah-Donli said.
The NAPTIP boss tutored the taskforce on strategies to develop a comprehensive frame work for awareness creation, rescue, rehabilitation and empowerment of victims of trafficking.
She further equipped the taskforce with information on systems of providing requisite psycho-social, legal and other interventions for trafficked victims in Nigeria.
According to her, the work before the taskforce is daunting and should not be turned into a money making venture but a service to humanity.
“Members must remain noble in their actions and exhibit a passion to work in the interest of victims of human trafficking, irregular migration and other vulnerable groups.
“The platform must fight human trafficking, support and protect trafficked persons through a more coordinated approach in the state,” she said.
Okah-Donli urged the members to ensure all issues on human trafficking, sexual abuse related offences, organ harvesting among others were reported to the agency without delay for proper prosecution.
She stressed that NAPTIP had established relationship with countries such as Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Netherlands, United Kingdom, U.S., Benin, France and many other countries to help victims.
According to the NAPTIP boss, the relationship is to ensure trafficked persons are properly coordinated to be back home.
She challenged members to immediately draw up strategies for effective implementation of the National Referral Mechanism (NRM), for victims’ rehabilitation.
Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey, the permanent secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, told the taskforce members that the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, would give his best to enable the taskforce to achieve its set objectives.
“Lagos State is happy to receive NAPTIP and welcome this latest development.
“The state is ready for all needed collaboration that would bring the country to Zero Trafficking,” Shitta-Bey said.
Responding on behalf of the participants, Rev. Sister Patricia Ebegbulem, the coordinator of Bakhita St. Louis, Lagos, pledged that the members would work with NAPTIP and Lagos State Government.
Ebegbulem said they would partner Lagos State Government and the agency untill the state and country achieved zero human trafficking. (NAN)