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UNIS/CP/460
21 January 2004

Italy, Nigeria Take Action against Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation

Italian Anti-Mafia Bureau and the Nigerian Attorney General of the Federation And Minister of Justice Sign the “Memorandum of Understanding” in Rome

VIENNA, 21 January (UN Information Service) -- About two months after the joint signature of the “Memorandum of Understanding”1), which is to improve the co-operation between Italy and Nigeria in the fight against human trafficking, in Abuja, the Italian Anti-Mafia Chief Prosecutor, Piero Luigi Vigna and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Akinlolu Olujinmi, met again in Rome on 20 January 2004, for the ceremony of the official signature.

The Memorandum has been signed within the framework of the “Programme of Action against Trafficking in Minors and Young Women from Nigeria into Italy for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation” that the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) is presently finalizing. The Programme is a joint initiative of UNICRI and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The main objective of the programme is to contribute to the formulation and implementation of effective policies in the field of criminal justice and social prevention to curb human trafficking practices. The project focuses particularly on improving judicial cooperation between the Nigerian and the Italian Government, on strengthening Nigerian law enforcement, prosecution and criminal justice agencies involved in counter trafficking, and also on awareness raising activities, both in Nigeria and Italy, in order to protect the victims of such crimes.

On the occasion of the ceremony of the official signature, RAI (Radio Televisione Italiana) at its headquarters in Rome presented the results of the anti-trafficking programme achieved so far, as well as the TV spot “Let us help them to free themselves from slavery”. The TV spot was produced, as part of the information campaign and as one of the many activities carried out with the collaboration of RAI and UNICRI. That initiative is also well placed to promote the 2004 International Year of the United Nations to commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition.

Invited to this event were the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr. Akinlolu Olujinmi; the Italian Anti-Mafia Chief Prosecutor, Mr. Piero Luigi Vigna; the Director-General of the Development Cooperation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister Plenipotenziario Giuseppe Deodato; the UNODC Field Representative in Nigeria, Mr. Paul Salay; the Officer in Charge of UNICRI, Ms. Dr. Maria Elena Andreotti and the author of the spot “Magic lantern”, Mr. Gianluigi Toccafando.

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(1) (www.unicri.it/MEMO1.PDF)

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