Capacity Building for NAPTIP's Implementation of the Action Plan against Human Trafficking (project NGA/S84)

Nature and Scope

Nigeria is a source, transit and destination country of human trafficking with a reported increase of the problem over recent years. Internal trafficking, mostly from rural to urban areas persist. Nigerians have established criminal groups in destination countries such as Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, and Saudi Arabia etc. Nigerian women constitute a higher percentage of vulnerable sex workers in Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Swiss, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Libya etc.  Figures clearly shows Nigerian prostitutes are at the lowest level - this simply means less paid and working in hazardous conditions

Nigeria became signatory to the Transnational Organized Convention and its Trafficking in Persons Protocol on 13 December, 2000. Article 5 of the said Trafficking Protocol enjoins State parties to crimininalize practices and conducts that subject human beings to all forms of exploitation which includes in the minimum sexual and labour exploitation. The Bill was subsequently passed by the National Assembly on 7 July, 2003, and Presidential assent given on the 14 July, 2003.

The Law seeks to address trafficking in persons with its associated problems by creating National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP), a specific multi-disciplinary crime fighting agency to address them. NAPTIP came into being on 26 August, 2003 has been recorded remarkable success to address the issue of trafficking.

The Nigerian National Plan of Action against Human Trafficking, developed over 2006 with United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) support, saw adoption of the Federal Executive Council in the fall of 2008.

UNODC's response to human trafficking

The project provides support to NAPTIP on the on-going capacity development, through the creation of a training strategy and start larger training programme, mainly in enforcement and judicial matters for NAPTIP staff and other involved national agencies and through the provision of expert support for the implementation of NAPTIP Action Plan. It also facilitates NAPTIP's conduct of awareness campaigns in priority states of Nigeria through provision of expert services, training and information material for civil society organizations to sustain their local campaigns. The project also provides for the maintenance of a donor coordination network on human trafficking and related matters in Nigeria, which UNODC/CONIG is undertaking, for gradual hand-over to NAPTIP as of 2011.

Activities:

1- 3-day programme on digital evidence for law enforcement

A 3-day training workshop was organized by NAPTIP in collaboration with Dutch Police of the Netherlands on Digital Evidence for NAPTIP and Other Law Enforcement Officers from 23 -26 September, 2009 in Abuja. The meeting witnessed dignitaries like Ambassadors from Finland and the Netherlands. Representatives from the following Embassies like the United States, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the French as well as the Country Representative, UNODC. The Honorable Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice, the Honorable Judges of High Court from Benue and Edo State, the Executive Secretary, NAPTIP.

2- Conduct of 2 training courses for NAPTIP

50 NAPTIP officers were trained on stress and trauma management for victims of trafficking in persons (TIP) from 6-9 September. The programme was designed to train care givers in the management of stress and trauma for victims of TIP and to strengthen their capacities in the management and monitoring of child victims of forced labour and TIP. 40 NAPTIP officers were also trained on modern techniques in public information dissemination from 1-4 September. The programme was to improve the capacities of NAPTIP information officers in the provision of effective, adequate and appropriate information on TIP to the general public, especially women and children. The officer's also learned about the use of the media, public lectures, information education communication materials, and country outreach programme for raising public awareness. Both activities were conducted under a UNODC project funded by the Governments of Switzerland, Finland and Norway.

3- Start of Human Trafficking -Training Needs Assessment

The National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) gathered a pool of experts from the agency, Nigeria Immigration Service, Police Force, Network of Civil Society Organizations Against Child Trafficking Abuse and Labour (NACTAL), the academia and UNODC, in the UN House from 11- 13 October to start the national HT training needs assessment and training strategy development.

The group developed a work plan and timetable for the assessment and developed a matrix and questionnaire for information gathering from all relevant counterparts in the coming weeks. Review meetings of the group are scheduled throughout November, and results of the assessments are to lead to the drafting of a national training strategy in 2011. This is to provide the basis for a more coordinated and prioritized provision of training to NAPTIP and other stakeholders in the area of human trafficking and related problems.

4- Child Witch Stigmatization in Nasarawa state

NAPTIP in collaboration with UNODC, UNICEF and the Governments of Switzerland, UK and Finland organized a sensitization and capacity building workshop on 11 - 12 November child witch stigmatization practices in Nasarawa State. The workshop reviewed the existing legislative framework on protection of children's rights and considered a real life case of a 14 year old victim.

The victim was branded a witch by her father who disfigured her with acid. Stakeholders resolved to, apprehend and charge the alleged perpetrator and provide protection/assistance to the girl. They also agreed to work in greater cooperation to establish a children rights protection network, undertake more sensitization on this practice, and strengthen the prosecution of cases. The workshop drew high level participation from governmental and non-governmental stakeholders who applauded the state for its passage of the Child Rights Law.