In 20 years, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has secured 624 convictions for trafficking in persons offenses, the Director General of the agency, Prof Fatima Waziri-Azi has disclosed.
Speaking at the ceremony to celebrate the 20 years anniversary of the agency in Abuja on Thursday, Waziri-Azi said NAPTIP has progressed from its very first command in Benin -Edo State to offices in 32 states and task force against human trafficking in 22 states.
She said. “We have made progress in our criminal justice response with a significant increase in convictions (624 Convictions since the first conviction was secured in 2006″.
Waziri-Azi further said the agency secured 80 convictions in 2022 which is the highest in a single year since the inception of NAPTIP and 48 convictions and counting in 2023 including for the first time the conviction of a law enforcement officer for human trafficking offences
The DG while noting that the agency has prosecuted several mutual legal assistance cases, said on the 8 of March 2023, NAPTIP was able to extradite a high profile human trafficker to Italy to serve out her 13 years jail term.
She said: “Our recent strategic partnership with Meta (owners of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) and the United States National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children have further enhanced the capacity of NAPTIP to tackle issues of online child exploitation.”
She noted that Nigeria is better poised to control and tackle human trafficking because of the collaborative efforts of everyone.
Waziri-Azi said last year, with support from our supervising Ministry, the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Alfairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, not one but three policy documents targeted at revolutionizing the fight against human trafficking in Nigeria, including the National Action Plan on Human Trafficking (2022-2026); were approved by the Federal Executive Council.”
She added that: “Today we will present more policy documents and innovations and they include: NAPTIP Disability Inclusion Policy, NAPTIP Service Charter, policy documents that have been transcribed into braille for the blind in collaboration with the disability commission.”
She noted that part of the improvement of the agency was the rebranding of the organisation’s logo, that has already been mainstreamed.
She said: “The rebranded logo represents a re-commitment from NAPTIP to protect all persons against human trafficking, and violence against persons through a people-centered access to justice, and the provision of safe spaces.”
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development, Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo in his address reiterated that human trafficking knows no boundaries, stressing that it thrives in the shadows, exploiting vulnerabilities and preying on the marginalized and defenseless.
Sani-Gwarzo who was represented by the Deputy Director of Humanitarian, Charles Anielo said, on the part of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development, the coordinating ministry for all humanitarian and migrations issues in Nigeria, Federal government is committed to combating all aspect of irregular migration which requires multi-stakeholders’ engagement in comprehensive and protect multidisciplinary manner that proactively focuses on how best to and assist vulnerable persons within the entire migration circle and punish the perpetrators.
He said: “We have witnessed the incredible power of cooperation and the unwavering dedication of countless individuals who have come together to combat the injustice of human trafficking.
“Today we pay tribute to each and every person and we celebrate the numerous lives that have been transformed, the futures that have been rewritten, and the hope that has been restored.”