Using Data Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants: from Theory to Practice

Abuja, 11 June 2021 – On the occasion of the 14th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice held in March 2021, Member States adopted the Kyoto declaration in which they called to “improve the quality and availability of data on crime trends, considering the development of statistical indicators, and share such data, on a voluntary basis, to strengthen our capacity to better understand global crime trends and improve the effectiveness of strategies to prevent and combat crime.”

In this spirit, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), with funding from the Government of Canada, organized from 7 to 10 June 2021 in Lagos, a four-day long training of trainers on data collection and analysis on trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants (TIP and SOM). This training equipped officers from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) with the necessary tools when working with data, but also to train data providers at federal and state levels to improve the overall national reporting on TIP and SOM in Nigeria.

Building on this training of trainers, UNODC will further engage in the upcoming months with trained NAPTIP and NIS officers to conduct step-down trainings for NAPTIP and NIS zonal commands, recently established State Task Forces and other data providers. Moreover, under the “Strengthening evidence-based response to trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in Nigeria” project funded by Canada, UNODC is currently conducting a threat assessment of trafficking in persons and related organized crime in Nigeria that will support NAPTIP and NIS in developing evidence-based policies and law enforcement strategies.

NIS Deputy Comptroller General, Ms. Anthonia Ifeoma Opara, said in her opening remarks that “this training of trainers is a commendable attempt by UNODC to strengthen the capacity of relevant agencies to generate and process data on trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.”

Mr. Olusayo Olubiyi, NAPTIP’s Director of Research and Programme Development added that “UNODC’s training will go a long way in enriching the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure our data is accurate and precise.”