West Africa records high victims of human trafficking- UNODC

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By Rosemary Ogbonnaya

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,UNODC, Fifth Global Report on Trafficking in Persons has revealed that out of 4799 victims detected in 26 Sub-Saharan Africa countries between 2016 and 2019, 3336 were in West Africa including 2553 children. Close to 80% of victims in West Africa were trafficked for forced labour, which remains the major form of exploitation in the region.

UNODC disclosed this while Joining National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons ,NAPTIP, In a workshop to finalise the Development of a New National Action Plan Against Trafficking In Persons.

However, with the support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,UNODC, and funding from the Government of Switzerland, NAPTIP kicked off the third technical workshop related to the development of the new National Action Plan against human trafficking in Nigeria.

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NAPTIP gathered over thirty stakeholders from ministries, law enforcement agencies, civil society organisations and international partners for a 3-day workshop in Keffi, Nasarawa State to work on a final draft of the action plan.

Also,Nigeria, NAPTIP data confirmed that trafficking in persons did not decrease during the COVID-19 pandemic as the total number of detected victims in 2020 (1,087) remained stable compared to 2019 (1,152) and 2018 (1,173).

The statement obtained from UNODC showed that this is the third and final technical workshop dedicated to the development of the new policy document. Following the first two workshops held in Abuja in November 2020 and January 2021.

It was gathered that NAPTIP and UNODC recently conducted a wide consultation process in Abuja but also in Lagos, Kano, Edo, Benue and Delta States to ensure involvement and ownership of all relevant partners at Federal and State levels.

The statement disclosed that stakeholders gathered in Keffi will provide final feedback and expertise to the document before its validation at a subsequent workshop and its official launch.

The statement quoted Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi, Director-General of NAPTIP as saying, “It is good to be ambitious but one also needs to be realistic: a solid monitoring and evaluation framework will be crucial for the successful implementation of the action plan.”

“The development of the new action plan is based on an inclusive, multi-partner approach with ministries, agencies, civil society organizations, international partners and the private sector.
“It is very much a document developed by and for Nigerian stakeholders,” said Dr. Oliver Stolpe, UNODC Representative to Nigeria.

“Switzerland is very proud to support this endeavor. I congratulate NAPTIP, UNODC and everyone involved on the great progress made so far. We all have an important role to play in the fight against human trafficking” said Mr. Manuel Mühlebach, Migration Advisor at the Embassy of Switzerland to Nigeria.

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