human trafficking

Director-General Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi Highlights Successes in Anti-Trafficking Efforts

Lagos, Nigeria – October 19, 2023: In a significant milestone in the fight against human trafficking, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) announced yesterday that it had secured a total of 631 convictions. Notably, among those convicted were two high-profile transnational human traffickers based outside Nigeria.

The revelation came during the launch of a two-day workshop for Public Relations and Public Enlightenment Officers of the agency, held in collaboration with the Canadian government in Lagos. Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi, the Director-General of NAPTIP, described these convictions as a crowning achievement for the agency’s dedicated efforts.

Out of the 631 convictions, 80 were secured in 2022, while an additional 55 convictions were obtained between January and October 18, 2023. Dr. Waziri-Azi highlighted the agency’s commitment to tackling human trafficking and the complex nature of the cases they’ve handled.

Dr. Waziri-Azi stated, “For the first time, on March 8, 2023, we extradited a high-profile human trafficker back to Italy to serve out her 13-year sentence. This remarkable achievement was made possible through the collaboration of the Federal Ministry of Justice, INTERPOL, and the Nigerian judiciary.”

She continued, “Just three weeks ago, we secured the conviction of a high-profile transnational criminal, a Nigerian based in Belgium, who was responsible for trafficking numerous girls across Europe. This trafficker received a 12-year prison sentence and a fine of N24 million naira.”

The Director-General emphasized the significance of these convictions as they represented the zenith of NAPTIP’s accomplishments in its ongoing battle against human trafficking.

Furthermore, the training of public relations and enlightenment officers from NAPTIP’s 32 state commands across Nigeria marks a historic moment for the agency. Dr. Waziri-Azi stressed the need for unified communication efforts, stating, “We have had in the past where we have this disconnected silos, different PROs and Public Enlightenment officers doing their own thing, and we felt it was important to bring everyone together to enhance their capacity in the area of strategic communication. This way, we can be seen as one agency, speaking with one voice, under one vision.”

The objectives of the training program include raising awareness about human trafficking, dispelling myths and misconceptions, and engaging the public through effective storytelling, social media content, and community involvement. The ultimate aim is to ensure that the grim reality of this crime is not hidden and to further the mission of NAPTIP as the leading anti-human trafficking law enforcement agency in Nigeria.

source punch

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