Nigeria’s fight against human trafficking has received a boost with the upgrading and refurbishing of 17 shelters for victims and survivors of human trafficking.
The upgrade and refurbishment of the shelters was carried out by Action Against Trafficking in Person and Smuggling of Migrants (A-TIPSOM), a project funded by European Union (EU) and implemented by the International Ibero-America Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP).
The upgraded and refurbished shelters were managed by the Network of CSOs Against Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL) and the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
A-TIPSOM team lead, Raphel Rios Molina, while addressing journalists in Abuja during the press conference on 14th October 2021 in Abuja said the essence of the project is to provide a better life for victims and survivors of human trafficking, adding that the upgraded and refurbished shelters would help in this regard.
According to him, in 2020, six (6) NAPTIP & NACTAL Shelters were upgraded while in 2021, eleven (11) NAPTIP & NACTAL Shelters were refurbished.
In his remarks, the representative of NACTAL, Abdulganiyu Abubakar, commended the EU for the programme, adding that it has helped in Nigeria’s fight against human trafficking.
“This is the first time a partner is investing in our centres in several years.
“We will reciprocate this gesture by ensuring we provide the best services for these survivors and also maintain these facilities and we will continue to take these messages to the state and local government so that they can own this intervention,” he said.
Some items provided to the shelters included 195 iron bunk beds, 390 mattresses, 11 gas cookers, 300 mosquito treated nets, 50 solar flood lights, 13 sofa, refrigerators, freezers, and office equipment.
Mr Olubiyi Olusayo, the Director of Research and Development, NAPTIP, appreciated FIIAPP for the project. He said that the agency was working toward giving trafficked victim shelters in all states of the federation, adding that NAPTIP would continue to look for more partnership.
One of the beneficiaries, Director of Daughters of Abraham Foundation (DOAF), Abuja, Mrs Margaret Bargo, said her shelter was among the 11 refurbished shelters.
She said more 500 girls will benefit from the refurbished facility.
The 17 upgraded and refurbished centres are spread across six Nigerian states.
Abubakar pleaded with the media to take the message against human trafficking and smuggling of migrants across the country to help eliminate the scourge.
Other partners such as the Nigeria Immigration Service, and the Nigeria Police were present at the press conference.