NAPTIP kick-off process to develop a new national action plan against human trafficking

Abuja, 23 November 2020 - The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) with the support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and funding from the Government of Switzerland officially kicked-off the process to develop a new National Action Plan against human trafficking in Nigeria. NAPTIP gathered over thirty stakeholders including ministries, law enforcement agencies, civil society organizations and international partners for a 3-day workshop in Abuja to set the priorities of the new national action plan.

The development of this strategic document is long overdue as the previous national plan expired in 2012, and is supported through the “Strengthening the policy framework and response to human trafficking in Nigeria” project, funded by the Swiss government and implemented jointly by NAPTIP and UNODC. This week’s workshop will provide a unique opportunity for partners to reflect on the previous plan’s successes as well as lessons learned in its implementation and to identify key priorities for the upcoming years in the fight against human trafficking in Nigeria.

As a preliminary step, the project conducted between April and July 2020 a baseline assessment of the current situation of trafficking in persons in Nigeria. The report assessed the current responses to trafficking in the various fields such as prevention, protection, criminal justice response and international cooperation.

With the technical assistance of UNODC, NAPTIP will organize further consultations and technical meetings through the course of 2021 to ensure the involvement of all relevant stakeholders, agree on their various roles and responsibilities but also to identify the resources required in support of the implementation of the plan, once adopted, and establish a strong monitoring and evaluation framework.

The approved document will become the blueprint for all interventions against human trafficking in Nigeria, ensuring efficiency and greater synergy”, said Dame Julie Okah-Donli, the Director-General of NAPTIP. “It is therefore, my desire that all relevant stakeholders are involved in the process of developing this Plan of Action, so that it benefits from contemporary trends and good practices from around the world.

Despite progresses, further efforts are however needed to enhance the criminal justice response to trafficking in persons which remains a “high profit – low risk” crime”, said Dr. Oliver Stolpe, UNODC Representative to Nigeria. “The development of a new National Action Plan provides us all with an opportunity to identify and address the current challenges in effectively preventing and combatting human trafficking in Nigeria, while ensuring the rights and protection of victims.

The fight against human trafficking constitutes an important area of cooperation between Nigeria and Switzerland”, said Mr. Manuel Muehlebach, Migration Adviser at the Embassy of Switzerland in Abuja. “The development of the National Action Plan will serve as a strategic document that will guide stakeholders in the fight against human trafficking in Nigeria.