The International Labour Oraganisation (ILO) and National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) are working together to reduce the rate of child labour and trafficking in persons in Nigeria and West Africa.
Ms. Lotte Kejser, Labour Migration Expert, Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration (FMM) in West Africa, ILO, made this known at a workshop on Trafficking in Persons in Abuja on Monday.
Kejser said the training would enhance participants’ understanding of the current trends in the areas of trafficking in persons, forced and child labour and labour migration.
“The step-down training is expected to enable participants share best practices in the elimination of trafficking in persons, forced and child labour and sensitise participants to Alliance 8.7 and discuss on how to strengthen coordination.
“Alliance 8.7 is a global network which seeks to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 relating to forced and child labour and trafficking.”
She said the project had supported three countries, Guinea, Liberia and the Gambia, and was organised in Nigeria at the request of NAPTIP.
The expert said Nigeria was the first country in West Africa to make national legislation against trafficking in persons which had been progressive and an example to the region.
She, however, urged agencies to step-up in the fight against trafficking in persons to meet up with current trends.
“We do realise challenges that persist in trafficking and smuggling; the scope of the problem is not being magnified because of the other dynamics globally.
“It becomes a challenge for agencies working with these issues to address the full scale of the problem.
“The judicial process which is required for arrest and prosecution is slow; this is something that we would address today as well as all new challenges.”
She added that the step-down of the blended training programme was implemented by ILO under the FMM West Africa Project and funded by the European Union and ECOWAS.
Kejser said approximately 26 million euro was made available for the project in all West African countries since 2013 and would run until 2020.
Mr Desmond Garba an official with NAPTIP reiterated that the project would better sensitise participants to trending forms of trafficking in persons.
“The project started in 2015 and is funded by the EU and ECOWAS.
“ILO and FMM are the ones coordinating and at the end of the training, people will be more aware about child and forced labour and other forms of exploitation.”
The blended workshop on trafficking in persons, child labour and forced labour began in 2015 and consisted of an online course and a face-to-face workshop.
The 2018 training workshop would end on Jan. 31.