By: Mustapha Gambo Muhammad
National Agency for the Prohibition Trafficking In Persons, (NAPTIP) has tasked Law Enforcement Agencies working at Maigatari border stations in Jigawa state, to always ask NAPTIP clearance from anybody seeking to take children outside Nigeria for cultural activities, sport trials and educational excursion, aim at curtailing the menace of human trafficking across Nigerian border.
The Director General of NAPTIP, Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi on Tuesday made the call at 1-day capacity building on Trafficking In Persons for law enforcement agencies working at Maigatari border stations.
She said the capacity building was under the framework of the project Strengthening Niger-Nigeria Cooperation on Countering Trafficking in Human Beings, funded by the Netherlands and implemented by International Centre for Migration Policy Development, (ICMPD).
Dr. Waziri-Azi represented by Director Public Enlightment of the agency, Mr. Josiah Emerole said the call was imperative considering the rising spate of human trafficking across Maigatari border Area.
He pointed out that Maigatari border has been a notorious and dangerous route of human trafficking to Niger republic, West, North African Countries to European countries.
“We’re here to let you know that you’re an important pillar in the fight against human trafficking.
“The essence of this training is to give you knowledge on how to identify victims of human trafficking as well as techniques to treat them,”
“I urge you to avoid treating human traffick victims as criminals, they are victim of circumstances, seeing them as criminals will further stigmatized them. What the need is counseling, rehabilitation and repatriation to their family.
The Director General stressed the need for synergy among the agencies to successfully fight the scourge of human trafficking across Maigatari border.
She said over the years NAPTIP has trained Law Enforcement Agencies, but unfortunately when posting came they moved with them to other duty post not related to human trafficking.
The DG implored the security agencies not to allow human traffickers to pass the border even if they have genuine documents.
“Trafficking In Persons Prevention Act 2015 from the office of Attorney General if the Federation provides that anybody who is taken children outside Nigeria for excursion, cultural activity or sport trials that person must get a clearance certificate from NAPTIP before allow passage.” NAPTIP Boss further maintained.
Also speaking at the event Dr. Mojisola Sodeinde, Head of Region, International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), West Africa stated the need for synergy among security agencies to check the menace of human trafficking across the border.
Dr. Sodeinde, represented by Mr. Adeniyi Bakre, Program Assistant, (ICMPD) congratulated the Nigerian National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and its counterpart, the Nigerien National Agency for the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons and Illicit Trafficking of Migrants (ANLTP/TIM) for taking the bold step to institute a formal process for bilateral cooperation on issues relating to trafficking in human beings.
She further commended Ambassador and people of the kingdom of the Netherlands whose profound generosity has committed financial resources to bring to reality the aspirations of Nigeria and Niger to cooperate in mitigating the menace of human
She added that The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) is an international
organisation with 18 Member States, active in more than 90 countries worldwide, saying it takes a regional
approach in its work to create efficient cooperation and partnerships along migration routes.
Acccording to Dr. Mojisola Sodeinde, West Africa Head of Region, ICMPD has three-pillar approach to migration management which include: structurally linking research, migration dialogues and capacity building, emphasizing these contributed to better migration policy development worldwide.
“The 4-Day border community dialogue/townhall meeting and Sensitization of Border Communities on
Trafficking in Persons activities are targeted at the local population, especially children(young girls and boys), women, youths, transporters, and law enforcement agencies (LEAs) within these border in Konni Maradi of Niger Republic, and in Maigatari, Jigawa State and Babban Mutum in Katsina State in Nigeria conducted from September 23 to 28, 2022 in Konni and Maradi of Niger Republic, and October 17-20 in Maigatari, Jigawa State respectively.
In paper presentation titled ‘Place of Intelligence and Synergy in the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons’ by Mrs.Angela Aleakhue Agbayekhai, Head of Intelligence and International Cooperation, National Headquarters of NAPTIP
She stated that Human Trafficking is organised multiple National crime calling on law enforcement agencies to think outside the box with a view to curtailing the menace.
“You should learn to know beyond what they present to you.”
She described collaboration as a key in the fight against human trafficking.
Other paper presented during the event include: Offences and Penalties Under the Trafficking in Persons Act by Kano Zonal Commander of the Agency, and a Paper titled ‘The Role of Civil Society Organizations CSO,s and Law Enforcement Agencies in the Fight Against Trafficking In Persons by Abdulganiyu Abubakar, President, NACTAL,
The Participants at the training include representatives from: Customs, DSS, Police, Immigration, NSCDC, Hisba, Vigilante and NOA