French Government to Continue Supporting Fight Against Human Trafficking in Nigeria, Others


The French Government may likely continue in sponsoring the programme to end human trafficking in Nigeria and five other West Africa State.

This was disclosed on Thursday in Abuja at the closing workshop for the European Union (EU)-funded project to support the fight against human trafficking in the States of Gulf of Guinea.

Speaking at the occasion, Alessandra Bianca, the Protection Expert, Expertise France, the French agency for international technical expertise whose mission is part of France's policy of cooperation, development aid, influence and economic diplomacy, said a lot has been achieved during the four years span of the programme and that is ongoing plan to keep the programme running.

She said: “In 2019, Expertise France obtained funding from the European Union and France for the implementation of the Regional Project to Support the Fight against Trafficking in Persons in six Gulf of Guinea Countries for a period of four years (2019-2023). 

“The project aims to support the six partner countries (Togo, Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Ghana and Nigeria) in strengthening their actions and capacities for a targeted and effective fight against human trafficking, according to the priorities set by the stakeholders and partners.

“The project focuses on four components, namely (i) institutional, operational and

preventive action consolidation, (ii) law enforcement, (iii) victim protection and (iv) regional cooperation. Through these four components, the project aimed to strengthen the capacities of the institutional systems and mechanisms to combat trafficking in persons.

“The fourth component, on regional cooperation, aimed to boost cross-border

cooperation and implement cooperation measures in accordance with existing bilateral and regional agreements, in partnership with ECOWAS.

“Our strategy of regional intervention fostered a unified approach, allowing us to tailor our responses to the unique needs of each country while fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing. 

“Together, we bolstered institutional systems, enhanced law enforcement capabilities, and provided vital protection services to victims of trafficking. 

“In Nigeria, our efforts have yielded tangible results. We provided care and support to 660 VoTs and Potential victims of trafficking while sensitizing over 40,000 migrants or potential migrants on the risk of irregular migration (through NACTAL and NGOs).

“Furthermore, critical infrastructure, such as the reception centre for victims of trafficking in Ondo state and the renovated NAPTIP office in Akure, has been revitalized to better serve our communities.

“In addition, a Data management system to store and analyze trafficking-related data was upgraded and Digital travel declaration platform was set up.”

She added that: “As we reflect on our accomplishments, let us also look to the future with optimism. Together, we will continue our efforts to build a world free from the scourge of human trafficking.

Bianca said with great things achieved and many more things to achieve, there is ongoing move to introduce the Phase 2 of the project to continue the good work.

Speaking at the occasion, the Director General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azu said: “While we celebrate our accomplishments today, let us also recommit ourselves to the ongoing fight against human trafficking. Our work is far from being over, and it is only through sustained collaboration and collective actions that we can create a world where exploitation and trafficking become relics of the past.”

Waziri-Azu who was represented by the Director of Intelligence (Research and Programme Development), Josiah Emerole, said: “Even as this project comes to an end, it is important to note that a lot still needs to be done, as such, we must continue to unite in seeking ways and means of strengthening our anti-human trafficking strategies and support for the survivors of the crime.

“To the Expertise France team, thank you for actively engaging with us in colaborative efforts to address the root causes of trafficking, and enhance victim protection. To the EU, thank you for the role you continue to play in ensuring human trafficking is curbed across the world.”

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