NAPTIP calls for more collaboration in the fight against human trafficking in the face of COVID-19 pandemic
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, has called for more collaboration in the fight against human trafficking in the face of the corona virus pandemic.
Speaking at a virtual meeting organized by the Justice Development and Peace Centre, JDPC, of the Holy Family Catholic Church, Festac on Thursday to commemorate this year’s World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the Lead Research and Programme Development Officer, Lagos zonal command, NAPTIP, Mrs. Comfort Sanni said, “we’re working with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC and the Nigeria Immigration service with regard to effectively carrying out our work in this time of the coronavirus”.
Representing the Lagos zonal coordinator, Mr. Daniel Atokolo, she said that law enforcement agents should be vigilant in addressing new and evolving crime patterns to advance their responses and activities especially within the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sanni who spoke on the topic, Human Trafficking: Making our efforts count as frontline workers in the time of a pandemic said, “Our sensitization and awareness programmes are increasing in the sense that we have been reaching the unreached segment of the society educating them on the tricks and trends in human trafficking”.
She noted that the meeting was to dialogue on the way forward and that the pandemic cannot stop “our collective efforts in the fight rather we need to do more while observing the guidelines to avoid the spread as stated by the authorities in charge”.
She noted that access to justice for victims of human trafficking must also be safeguarded.
While responding to a question on the possibility of having a register to name and shame human traffickers in the country, she said that the idea of having a register for human trafficking offenders like the sexual violence offenders register is an idea that can be presented for consideration, “being a policy matter. It requires deliberation by stakeholders if this will serve as a deterrence to possible offenders”.
She called for the use of technology to facilitate access to judicial processes in the case of trafficking in persons in the collation and collection of evidences even as the agency is looking at emerging trends and possible ways of working to end the scourge of trafficking in persons.
She thanked the organisers for the effort at putting together the meeting as well as other stakeholders working towards a human trafficking free nation.
Rev. Sr. Justina Nelson (Religious Sisters of Charity), a Social Worker and Coordinator Anti-Human Trafficking Team, off the RSC in Nigeria who was also a guest, called for a more coordinated effort at tackling the scourge of Human Trafficking as traffickers have now devised more sophisticated means of luring their victims.
However, the Deanery Co-ordinator, JDPC, Festac, Mr. Onyema Onyenakeya thanked NAPTIP for being a part of the meeting and called for more collaboration”
“In the cause of our work we have attended to people who are victims of human trafficking, rape and those who have been imprisoned unjustly”.
The theme for this year’s celebration is, committed to the cause: Working on the Frontline to End Human trafficking.