Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants are complex crimes demanding a coordinated and multi-sectoral approach in order to achieve an effective response. Due to the complexity of the two phenomena, it is often challenging for organizations and Governments to effectively identify, investigate, and prosecute suspected traffickers and Smugglers.
Hence the need to develop tools and measures that will strengthen the criminal justice response specific to Human Trafficking and the Smuggling of Migrants and foster synergy among the Criminal Justice actors in Nigeria and to assist front-line personnel at different levels to improve their capacity of the criminal justice system to bring human traffickers and migrants’ smugglers to justice while fully respecting the rights and needs of the victims.
Investigation and prosecution are among the specific objectives of the Action Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Nigeria(A-TIPSOM), a project funded by the European Union and implemented by the International Ibero-America Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP)
In the light of the above, on 23rd to 25th March 2021, FIIAPP organized a three-days’ workshop on the Development of Criminal Justice Manual on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants.
The Workshop was attended by representatives from State Security Service, Nigeria Customs Service, Defense Intelligence Agency, Federal Ministry of Justice, National Human Rights Commission, and Nigeria Correctional Services.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the workshop, the A-TIPSOM Project Manager, Patricia Mate commended all the implementing partners of the A-TIPSOM project on their effort towards combating trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.
Also, the team leader of A-TIPSOM Project, Mr. Rafael Rios said that the workshop is vital as it will enable the relevant agencies to strengthen the criminal justice responds, especially on human trafficking and smuggling of migrants.
The Director-General of NAPTIP, Mrs Imaan Sulaiman – Ibrahim who was represented by the Director of Legal Department, Barr. H.H Tahir appreciated European Union and FIIAPP for the A-TIPSOM Project.
Mrs C. W Adepeju, the Assistant Comptroller-General in Charge of Migration Directorate at the NIS Headquarters Abuja who represented the NIS Boss Mr. Muhammad Babandede shared similar commendation to European Union and FIIAPP. She enjoined the participants to make the best of the workshop.
According to the Technical Advisor on Criminal Investigation, Mr. Sani Dantuni Bello, “The main objective is to provide criminal justice practitioners with guidance in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking and smuggling of Migrants cases in Nigeria through Elaboration of a Practical Guide on the Management of SOM and TIP cases for National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Police Force(NPF) and Prosecutors that will cover from the identification of the criminal to the final judgement. This Guide will facilitate all relevant bodies to know their responsibilities and exactly what should be done at each step of the chain once a SOM or TIP case is identified”.