Joint Team Visits India to Strengthen Capacity in the Care and Rehabilitation of Victims
An initial assessment of shelter facilities in Nigeria indicates that state and non-state partners working on Trafficking in Persons have the capacity to accommodate and adequately care for victims if well coordinated. Despite the enormous potential that these shelters have, their limitations in victim care and support are also apparent. Specifically, they suffer from inadequate resources to provide materials and supplies for victims while at the shelters; nascent professional competency of shelter personnel as well as counselling and rehabilitation staff, and limited rehabilitation and basic vocational programs at both the government and non government shelters. It is against this background that a six days study visit to India took place in December 2012. The purpose of the study visit was to increase the capacity of the team for enhanced service delivery especially in victim care and support. The study visit team of five persons comprising of 3 National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) officials, 1 Non Governmental Organization representative and 1 UNODC staff spent four days learning skills from their Indian counterparts on victim support, rehabilitation and shelter management. The team visited SANLAAP based in Kolkatta, Prerana Shelter Home, Mumbai, Rescue Foundation Mumbai while also paying courtesy visits to the Ministry of Women, Children and Social development and one-on-one visit to the former Judge of the Anti-trafficking specialized court. Interesting concepts learnt from India which the study team are favorably disposed to piloting include: adapting a holistic victim-centered approach in victim support, the development of a care plan for every victim; peer-to-peer engagement with youth for sensitization, awareness, and motivational lectures and diversification of skills acquisition for victims in Nigerian shelters.
Improving Victim Care and Support
The skills currently offered in Nigeria are most times inadequate to ensure the economic independence of victims. Also significant, was the presence of an unwritten service charter between victims and their care providers illustrating accountability, transparency and a holistic victim-centred approach. The next steps following the study visit will entail; carrying out a stakeholder de-briefing meeting to share the learning, experiences and best practices from the study visit, the development of an action plan to replicate/adopt best practices in NAPTIP and partner's shelters and extending an invitation to the Executive Directors of Prerana shelter and SANLAAP shelter to train counsellors in NAPTIP shelters on victim care and support and shelter management. The study visit was undertaken under a European Union funded project aimed at "Promoting Better Management of Migration in Nigeria".