Human Trafficking: Group seeks stiffer conviction, sentencing for offenders

A migration organisation, International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) has called for stricter conviction and sentencing for human traffickers.

The organisation made the call at a Joint Technical Working/Sub Committee Meeting on Tuesday in Lagos.

The meeting was held under the framework of the project titled, “Strengthening Niger-Nigeria Cooperation on countering trafficking in Human Beings.”
The Head of Office, West Africa, ICMPD, Dr Mojisola Sedeinde said the meeting would put in place a long term institutionalisation of cooperation between both countries in the fight against human trafficking.
She said that delegates from Niger and Nigeria would develop concrete plans that would help in dealing with the menace and put in place long-lasting solutions to the issue.
Sedeinde said that the organisation was training judges in order to have vast knowledge of the negative effects of human trafficking on people and the country as a whole.
“Human trafficking is multi billion dollar  industry which translates to the third largest in the world . So, it is a very lucrative business for traffickers and that is why they find it hard to stop this hineous crime.
“There are no incentives for the traffickers to stop this act that is why it is extremely important that these people are apprehended, prosecuted and given strong sentences which would serve as a lesson to others.
“With this in mind, we are training judges so they can have a better understanding on how vast the crime is, so that the traffickers can be dealt with properly and in accordance with the law,” she said.
Sedeinde noted that sensitisation must be carried out regularly in order to enlighten people on the gimmicks of human traffickers.
She added that it should be carried out frequently and targeted at the grassroots who are soft targets for traffickers.
“Sensitisation and enlightenment programmes are key elements in the fight against human trafficking as this will help in educating people on the tricks used by these traffickers.
“They prey on peoples’ hopes and aspirations but we carry out programmes to teach people on how to detect such persons and to report them to the appropriate authorities,” she said.
Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, Director General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), noted that the meeting would help strengthen bilateral relations between both countries.
Waziri-Azi, who was represented by Mr Olubiyi Olusayo, Director, Research and Programme Development, NAPTIP said collaboration between both countries would help to stamp out human trafficking.
Mr Ousmame Mamame, Director General, National Agency for the Fight against Trafficking in Persons and International Smuggling of Migrants (ANLTP-TIM), said the meeting would bring about solutions that would help in dismantling trafficking networks.
Mamame, who was represented by Mr Elhadji Sanavri , Director of Administration and Finance (ANLTP) stressed that human trafficking was a major menace in the world.
“By the end of this meeting, we will be better equipped to be able to process victims, arrest traffickers, dismantle trafficking networks and eradicate it in the long term,” he said
Mr Abdulganiyu Abubakar, National President, Network Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL), noted that partnership between both countries would boost identification and information exchange which would help in the fight against trafficking.

He said that gathering of information and intelligence between both countries would help in confiscation of resources of traffickers which would translate to their arrest.

ICMPD is an international organisation with 19 Member States which is active in more than 90 countries worldwide.
It takes a regional approach in its work to create efficient cooperation and partnerships along migration routes.
Its three-pillar approach to migration management are: structurally linking research, migration dialogues as well as capacity building which contributes to better migration policy development worldwide.
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