Nigeria, Finland move against human trafficking
NIGERIA and Finland have signed an accord aimed at minimizing the incidences of human trafficking between the two countries.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP), Beatrice Jedy-Agba said the fight against the practice could only be won if all the nations of the world adopt a united and holistic approach.
The Memorandum of Understanding, which was anchored on closer partnership in curbing human trafficking, was signed by both the NAPTIP Executive Secretary and the Finland Ambassador to Nigeria, Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury.
The MoU is between NAPTIP and the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Finland. NAPTIP and Finland have over the years worked together to curb human trafficking related problems affected Nigeria and Finland.
According to Mrs. Jedy-Agba, a holistic response would imply the adoption of the ‘4ps’ of Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnership by all countries, adding that any one left would negatively affect the counter-trafficking agenda of the international community.
While stating that no one country has the capacity to curb human trafficking within its territory, she maintained that collaboration in all areas identified by the United Nations through the Palermo Protocol must be maintained by supply and destination countries.
She disclosed that such an understanding informed the setting up of the training and manpower development department, and the intelligence and international cooperation unit for the Agency on her assumption of office.
She added that the Agency has been working with other law enforcement agencies, the federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant government Agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations in tackling the problems of human trafficking in Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary, however, lauded the Finland government for the assistance so far rendered to the Agency including the rehabilitation of one of the Agency’s Shelters.
In her response, the Ambassador of Finland expressed her country’s appreciation of the reception by NAPTIP and the cooperation between the two countries on issues relating to countering human trafficking.
While stressing that human trafficking is a serious violation of Human rights, she informed the Executive Secretary of her country’s desire to sustain the relationship between both countries as part of Finland’s plan of sustaining the defence of human rights of victims. She however, added that the relationship has been beneficial to both countries.
The purpose of the Memorandum of Understanding is to cooperate in preventing and combating trafficking in persons and forfeiture of the proceeds of trafficking in persons, in particular through the exchange of information and experience, in accordance with the national legislation and international obligations of the two countries.
Through the MoU, Nigeria and Finland will promote cooperation in preventing and combating trafficking in persons through exchange of information and experience regarding their respective laws and regulations relating to trafficking in persons; monitoring of trafficking in persons activities carried out on the territories of their respective States by the nationals of the other party; providing of mutual support in capacity building, training and strengthening of institutional capabilities to effectively combat trafficking in persons; trafficking in persons prevention programmes; victims of trafficking in persons’ assistance programmes; joint decision to participate, when appropriate, in seminars or training courses for the purpose of enhancing this Memorandum of Understanding and other aspects of mutual interest with a view to preventing and combating trafficking in persons.