Improved Response to Trafficking in Persons (2021-2023)

The “Improved Response to Trafficking in Persons” project supported by the United States Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) commenced in April 2020. The overall goal of the project is to strengthen state and non-state actors’ capacities to respond to trafficking in persons at state level.


Following a baseline assessment of Nigeria’s challenges in the fight against trafficking in persons conducted in the course of developing a national action plan on human trafficking for Nigeria, the UNODC identified major shortcomings and offered a roadmap to enhance the country’s response to trafficking in persons.

Since the Edo state governor established a Task Force against human trafficking in 2017, NAPTIP had gone ahead to establish similar institutions in other states with the support of UNODC, International Organisation on Migration (IOM), US government and other donors. The baseline report had recommended the need to establish task force in every state in Nigeria and support them.


This project, therefore, seeks to improve NAPTIP’s institutional capacities, particularly with regards to its presence at regional and local levels by providing enough training to members of the task force and to efficiently coordinate their efforts in preventing human trafficking, prosecuting suspects and protecting victims and vulnerable groups


The baseline report had some recommendations on criminal justice response on TIP cases. With reports showing that NAPTIP’s rate of successful prosecution was particularly low, the baseline report had stressed how inadequate knowledge and training of NAPTIP officers obliged with conducting intelligence-led investigations and prosecutions remains a major challenge if the conviction rate must increase. Thus, there is a dire need for a better understanding of best (and bad) practices of NAPTIP prosecution strategy via further training on collection, retention and exploitation of evidential material in human trafficking cases as well as on victim-management. This is vital in order to investigate and prosecute criminal groups that are allegedly more and more sophisticated and organized.


In order to tackle these different challenges, the project seeks to improve NAPTIP prosecutorial strategy, provide custom-made capacity building to NAPTIP investigators and prosecutors for intelligence-based law enforcement response, and enhance NAPTIP cooperation with key partners at state level, especially the state task forces and the judiciary.