A Non Government Organisation (NGO), CLEEN Foundation and the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), as well as the UN Women on Tuesday advocated a better protection services for victims of trafficking.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CLEEN Foundation is an NGO that promotes public safety and security.
The foundation, in its bid to tackle trafficking had carried out a gender audit across Lagos state on protection services within existing trafficking shelters, safe homes, other front-line services and providers.
The Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation, Dr Benson Olugbuo during his opening remarks said the gender audit brought out gaps and constraints which the foundation aimed at tackling together with its stakeholders.
“CLEEN Foundation launched a project focused on preventing forced migration and trafficking of women and girls in Nigeria to build resilience and promote sustainable development.
“This was in a bid to enable a gender-sensitive policy environment that addresses forced migration and trafficking as well as increase gender-sensitive information and awareness-raising in source migration and trafficking sites of Edo and Lagos states.
“In furtherance of the project objectives, we have successfully carried out a number of activities in these two states.
“One of which is the gender audit carried out across Lagos state on protection services within existing trafficking shelters and safe homes and other front-line services and providers.
“The gender audit brought out gaps and constraints within the existing shelters and safe homes as well as being faced by the frontline service providers in terms of the available services as well as the level of gender responsiveness in the provision of the services in Lagos.” he said.
Dr. Olugbuo added that the critical areas of constraints identified from the gender audit included funding, policies like referral mechanism and referral pathways and data collation.
He said the audit also made recommendations that relevant stakeholders need to consider to address some of the challenges.
It is our expectations that after this meeting, stakeholders will not only be duly abreast with the findings and recommendations from the gender audit conducted in Lagos but also chart a pathway on how the recommendations can be effectively implemented.
“Each stakeholder is expected to contribute their own quota towards the implementation that will effectively drive curbing human trafficking and forced migration in Lagos.” he said.
The Commander, NAPTIP Lagos Zone, Aganran Ganiu Alao also said the Agency has identified that the only way to effectively tackle human trafficking due to its multi faceted nature is through strong coordinated partnership.
He said that the burden on the agency has increased with the with the recent increase in the population of Nigerians returning home from sexual and labour exploitation camps and urged other stakeholders to step up to the fight against trafficking.
“This is not going to be a talk shop but an opportunity for us to consider some challenges in the execution of our duties and provision of necessary services to victims of human trafficking.
“We are to proffer smart solutions which would facilitate the achievement of our mandates as individual organizations and as a collective.
“Human Trafficking represents a clear and present danger to human and national security and must be addressed boldly and frontally.
“The goal here is to build a coordinated system that will help us record even more success stories as we strive to give victims of trafficking another chance to life.
“To all stakeholders present, i say the little good you do for a victim will go a long way in changing various chapters in their life story. No Nigerian is another’s slave.” Alao said
The Commander also commended CLEEN Foundation and UN Women for their partnership in the areas of development and execution of projects aimed at preventing the continuous proliferation of human trafficking.