The Network Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL) in collaboration with A-TIPSOM on Wednesday inaugurated a platform against human trafficking to facilitate information sharing among West African countries.
A-TIPSOM (Action Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants) is a project working against human trafficking in Nigeria.
The platform is “West Africa Coalition Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants.”
Speaking during the inauguration in Abuja, Mr Abdulganiyu Abubakar, NACTAL National President, said that the regional platform would enable effective information sharing about human trafficking among West African countries.
Abubakar said that trafficking in persons was a transnational organised crime and among the largest criminal industries, where those involved worked in a group, hence the need to collaborate with countries.
He said that the platform was also initiated to be able to move faster than perpetrators of the crime.
“NACTAL as a coalition of civil society has been able to work together collectively for 16 years.
”We want other countries of the sub-region to see the need to also work collectively.
“Partnership and collaboration is key to addressing the menace of trafficking, we need to have a very formidable platform, that is the essence of this programme”, he said.
Mrs Julie Okah-Donli, the United Nations Chairperson in charge of funds meant for victims of trafficking appreciated the collaboration.
According to her, collaboration with other countries in this issue has always been a problem in the past which has hampered information sharing on human trafficking.
“All the relevant NGOs, everybody will be on this platform as well as other West Africa countries, sharing information, having referrals to different relevant stakeholders in terms of prosecution, counselling and others,” she said.
The Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Mrs Fatima Waziri-Azi, also commended the effort, noting that no single agency could win the war alone.
Represented by Mr Gav Festus, Assistant Director, Department of Research and Programme Development, NAPTIP, Waziri-Azi said there was a need for partnership, collaboration and cooperation.