The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), has commenced a two-day intensive coaching for members of States Taskforce on Human Trafficking.
The Director-General (DG) of NAPTIP, Miss Julie Okah-Donli, in her welcome address at the training in Lagos on Monday, described the establishment of the taskforce as a giant feat, in spite of the post COVID-19 challenges.
Newsmen report that beneficiaries of the training are drawn from Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states.
“The agency in conjunction with some state governments, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and other partners had inaugurated the taskforce in 14 states between 2019 and August 2020.
“Plans are in progress to inaugurate the taskforce in the remaining states in Nigeria,” Okah-Donli said.
She explained that the taskforce was a strategic instrument that NAPTIP adopted to harness counter-trafficking efforts at the sub-national level.
“The agency realised it is pivotal to create synergies in the fight against human trafficking in the country and it became a reality.
“So this capacity building is very dear to us in NAPTIP because of the need to equip stakeholders with the necessary skills to curtail incidences of human trafficking at the grassroots level,” the DG said.
She stressed that the challenges of human trafficking and irregular migration were quite enormous, adding that new initiatives must be developed to ensure sustained successes against this twin monsters.
Okah-Donli stressed that the fight against human trafficking required both government and citizens’ collaboration.
“It is worthy of note that human trafficking can be difficult to detect due to its clandestine nature which aids victims to remain hidden in plain sight.
“We need counter-trafficking actors to understand the various methods of traffickers, who use technology and other tools to perpetrate the crime,” she said.
Okah-Donli charged trainees on commitment to duty, as the country was counting on their professionalism and patriotism to achieve NAPTIP’s vision of ensuring a human trafficking-free nation.
The IOM representative, Ms Ruth Mbugua, in her opening speech, said the organisation had repatriated more than 19,000 Nigerians from different countries.
Mbugua said the victims consisted of 58 per cent females and 42 per cent males.
“The IOM collaborates with governments, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), intelligence units, among others, and travels far for rescue operations,” she said.