The United States of America has rated Nigeria high in her efforts in combating human trafficking through the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
The report was released on Thursday by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo during an annual global assessment of the level of compliance of countries to the minimum standards in the eradication of trafficking in persons around the world.
NAPTIP stated that, the Government of Nigeria demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period; therefore, Nigeria was upgraded to Tier 2 watch list.
“These efforts included supporting implementation of a 2017 action plan between Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), a government supported non-governmental armed group, and an international organization to end its recruitment and use of child soldiers.
“The Government convicted significantly more traffickers than the previous reporting period and initiated prosecution against seven government officials allegedly complicit in trafficking.”
This development came on the heels of serious efforts on expanded awareness and stakeholder advocacy in all parts of the country embarked upon by the Director General, NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli to increase the knowledge of the people on issues of human trafficking as well as victim protection and support.
Speaking newsmen, Okah-Donli, disclosed that she received the report with mixed feeling because she had expected Nigeria to be upgraded to Tier 1.
“Even though many people including partners of the Agency have been calling to congratulate us on the upgrading of Nigeria to Tier 2, I received the report with mixed feeling because I had expected Nigeria to top the tier 1 list.”
She lauded the support of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and other stakeholders for Agency within the period under review.
“The present administration has demonstrated the desired commitment and political will to combat human trafficking in the country.”
”In the last one year, we have doubled our prosecution and number of convictions and revamped our strategies aimed at combating human trafficking through massive public enlightenment and awareness creation campaigns, advocacy as well as other preventive measures.”
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