By Aderogba George
Abuja – National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on Thursday
urged stakeholders to put more effort toward the fight against trafficking in women and children.
The Director General of NAPTIP, Mrs Julie Okah-Donli, made the call at the 24th National Stakeholders Consultative
Forum (NSCF) on human trafficking held in Abuja on Thursday.
According to her, the support of stakeholders will help in upgrading the country from the position of Tier 2 Watch List to Tier 1 watch List.
The U.S. Department of States Trafficking in Persons Report in June 2017 ranked Nigeria as Tier 2 country in terms
of human trafficking “but our hope is to become a Tier 1 country where the menace would highly be reduced.
“I hope we will sustain efforts and also do more before the next reporting cycle to upgrade
the country to Tier 1.
“We must, therefore, increase the tempo of our current efforts to keep hope alive in support of our vulnerable women and children
across the nation.”
Ms Elisabeth Bayes, the Representative of the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), said that the organisation
would sustain partnership with NAPTIP toward ending trafficking in women and children.
She said that the UNODC would continue to support NAPTIP with its Policy, Prevention, Protection and Prosecution(4Ps) working systems.
“This is our methodology in the fight against human trafficking. We will assist NAPTIP to bring to an end this menace.
“At the moment, we are focusing on prevention. NAPTIP has been our co-partner. We are here in the country as facilitators to government agencies, organisations
particularly on trafficking and illegal migration.”
The British Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos,Tim Galvin, said that human trafficking issues had become a global phenomenon regarded as an international crime.
Galvin said that the fight against trafficking in women and children would be achieved if government agencies from different countries share information.
He pledged the continuous support of the UK Government to assist Nigeria in achieving more results in fighting the crime, adding that NAPTIP had achieved
tremendous result in this direction.
Mr Rafael Molina, the Nigeria Team Leader of Action Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Nigeria (A-TIPSOM Nigeria), a European Union agency,
pledged the agency’s continued support to NAPTIP.
He said “we would support and provide the agency with whatever we seem necessary to fight human trafficking in line with our core areas of work such as prevention,
protection of victims, investigation, policies and finance.”