The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has called for more and continued support of the international community in the fight against human trafficking.
Mrs. Fatimah Waziri-Azi, the Director General of the agency, made the call on Wednesday in Abuja, at the 2021 NAPTIP Embassy Liaison stakeholders meeting, aimed at strengthening the agency’s capacity.
According to the director general, countries cannot fight human trafficking alone, hence the need for transnational cooperation, communication, collaboration and partnership to effectively fight the phenomenon.
She said that the agency had made some progress in the past few years, with the high level support of stakeholders, adding that it planned to maintain such cooperation to arrive at a logical end in the discharge of its duties.
“This is why we are all here today; the real capacity of a country is to effectively address the trend of human trafficking in persons that will translate into the overall regime of the criminal justice cooperation.
“Empirical evidence has shown that trafficking in persons has become the third largest criminal enterprise globally, and second among transnational organised crime, this calls for the support of the international community.
“This also calls for sustained efforts by world governments and the international community; trafficking is an organised crime that is mostly carried out for self gains and involves several individuals playing different roles within countries.
“This is why countries are required to cooperate with one another to effectively combat trafficking in persons, provided in article 27 of the organised crime convention and Paragraph four of the Palermo convention,’’ she said.
Waziri-Azi stated that the meeting was convened to strengthen cooperation, collaboration, communication and partnership between the agency and the international community towards elimination of trafficking in persons.
She encouraged the participants to come up with suggestions and information that would improve Nigeria and destination countries.
The director general disclosed that her strategic priority was to enhance investigation, prosecution and conviction of high profile traffickers.
When there are more convictions and less impunity, it is only then that the message would be sent to the public that the agency had zero tolerance for trafficking, Waziri-Azi said.
Mr. Manuel Muhlebach, Migration Adviser, Embassy of Switzerland, stated that his country had long term cooperation with the Nigeria government and would continue, which they intended to sustain.
Muhlebach said he agreed with the NAPTIP director general’s recognition of human trafficking as a big challenge, and that all hands must be on deck to curb the menace. (NAN)