UNODC trains NAPTIP investigators and prosecutors on human trafficking case management practices

Lagos, 3rd December 2021- Successful investigation and prosecution trafficking in persons (TIP) depend on proper identification which in turn requires adequate knowledge of TIP concepts, skills and the utilization of appropriate investigative techniques and approaches. Strong coordination between investigators and prosecutors is essential in every TIP case to ensure victims access justice and increase the rate of convictions. 

At the Side Event to the High-level meeting of the UN General Assembly on the appraisal of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons in November 2021, the Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi made reference to the newest edition of the UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. She highlighted that the report’s analysis of court case summaries, showed that Sub-Saharan Africa still have the lowest rates in convictions and victim identification. She therefore called upon UNODC to further investigate cases from African countries to help NAPTIP improving its law enforcement responses at national and regional levels.

In a response to this call, UNODC trained 25 NAPTIP investigators and prosecutors on case management practices from the 30th November to 2nd December 2021 within the project ‘’Strengthening Nigeria’s Criminal Justice Response to Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants’’ (PROMIS Nigeria), funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The training focused on a broad range of topics, including: strengthening the coordination between investigators and prosecutors; analysis of four closed NAPTIP cases and limitations of prosecuting under the previous Trafficking In Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act of 2003.

Participants at the training appreciated the practical approach of the sessions and agreed going forward on a few things such as: holding case team meetings before, during, and after every case to ensure an air-tight case; testing the admissibility of electronic evidence in court especially for cases regarding minors; building trust and integrity amongst case teams; and having, statements for victims and suspects verbatim rather than written in processed English which could be discredited in court.