The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Burkina Faso to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children.
In a statement on Sunday titled, ‘Nigeria/Burkina Faso governments demonstrate the political will to fight human trafficking, Sign MOU,’ Press Officer of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Adekoye Vincent said the new legal instrument was signed in Abuja at the highpoint of the 3rd Nigeria/Burkina Faso Joint Commission held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
According to him, the MOU which is expected to intensify pressure on human traffickers and their cohorts operating within the two countries is coming weeks after a similar agreement was signed between Nigeria and the Republic of Niger.
The document was signed by Nigeria’s Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Mistura Abdulkareem on behalf of Nigeria and the Burkinabe Ambassador to Nigeria, Piabie N’DO signed on behalf of Burkina Faso.
Speaking at the signing, the Director-General of NAPTIP, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, said the MoU remains a major onslaught on the activities of human traffickers not only within the routes of the two countries but West Africa.
She thanked the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouk, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and other State and Non-State Actors for the demonstration of political will to tackle human trafficking.
She also assured those present that NAPTIP shall continue to work assiduously to fulfil its mandates of combating human trafficking and all forms of violence against persons in the Country.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gabriel Aduda stated that the agreement was part of the FG’s effort to enhance cooperation and strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
He assured stakeholders that the contents of the MoU will be fully implemented in line with the approved procedures.
Also in her speech, the Director-General of the Burkina Faso Bilateral Cooperation, Mrs Bakyonon Kanzie, thanked the Federal Government for the agreement, saying that her Country shall implement all aspects of the agreement to the benefit of Nigeria and Burkina Faso.
She said, “The MoU is a product of concerns about the magnitude and menace of human trafficking, especially in women and children in both countries and its negative socio-economic impact on the wellbeing of their citizenry.
“Re-affirming that the commitment and obligations of both parties to the implementation of the ECOWAS Plan of Action Against Trafficking in persons 2002-2003 and the following ratified international Legal instruments:
“Realising that the fight against human trafficking especially women and children across borders can efficiently and effectively be fought only if the country of origin, transit and destination countries adopt a common comprehensive approach;
“Determined to mobilise necessary efforts and resources to punish all those engaged in human trafficking, especially in women and children by prosecuting their crimes wherever they occur by co-operating at the international level;
Conscious of the fundamental principle of the best interest of the child and the need to assist the victims of human trafficking, especially women and children.”
With 18 articles, it captures the characterisation of human trafficking with all its elements, prosecution of offenders, communication, identifications, protection and care of victims of human trafficking, return, repatriation of proceeds of the crime as well as rehabilitation and reintegration of victims.
A bilateral agreement was also signed in sports development, trade and investment, information and media, ICT as well as women development.