28 February 2017 - Smuggling of Migrants (SoM) and Trafficking in Persons (TiP) remain as topics of concern due to Nigeria being a source, destination and transit country. Mainly young women and girls are trafficked to Europe and other destinations, and there is growing evidence for the involvement of Nigerian criminal networks.
In this context, UNODC organized in recent weeks a three-day workshop called "Enhancing Inter-Agency Cooperation in Border Management to Address Smuggling of Migrants", in Calabar, Cross River State.
An aim of the meeting, and one of the main topics discussed, was to improve and consolidate the existing synergy among operatives of various security agencies in the country to enhance their performance according to national objectives.
Participants recommended the use of environmental friendly measures, such as installation of CCTV, acquisition of light aircrafts and drones for area surveillance; and provision of modern communication gadgets, such as satellite phone, auto-gate, light scanning machines, remote sensing devices, hand-held parcel scanner, itemizing machine, and gun boats for effective marine patrol at the nation's maritime borders.
Another important aim of the discussions was to spread among participants the necessary knowledge of Nigeria's migration and labor migration policies, which will serve as guiding principles for agencies entrusted with migration management in the country.
It has been observed that irregular migrants communicate through social media and, thus, the need for security agencies to leverage on the opportunity presented by social media as a veritable instrument of intelligence gathering on TiP and SoM was discussed. Additionally, participants spoke about the need to study the digital foot print of human traffickers and migrant smugglers, together with a call for a centralised and harmonised database that would serve the needs of all security agencies in Nigeria.
The event gathered participants from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Federal Ministry of Justice (FMOJ), and the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and it was supported by the European Union.