CLEEN Foundation has advised governments in Nigeria to respond to the issue of forced migration and trafficking with gender-sensitive policies.
The foundation gave the advice during a two-day workshop it organised in partnership with the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
Thousands of Africans who migrate due to many reasons, including political instability, have died while attempting to make the dangerous crossing.
About 750,000 to one million persons are trafficked annually in Nigeria, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
With reference to NAPTIP 2020 (second quarter) data on human trafficking, women accounted for 89.5 percent of victims.
CLEEN Foundation said that gender-sensitive policies needed to be put in place to effectively tackle forced migration and trafficking in Nigeria.
Development Diaries understands that the foundation is implementing a project aimed at enabling a gender-sensitive policy environment.
The foundation, with support from the UN Women and the Italian government, launched the project, ‘Preventing forced migration and trafficking of women and girls in Nigeria: Build resilience, promote sustainable development’, in June 2020.
The project broadly seeks to support and strengthen the gender-responsiveness of interventions by NAPTIP and other relevant government agencies.
‘The intervention has progressed to the level of capacity building programmes for community-based women groups/activists on advocacy and communication strategies for anti-trafficking’, the foundation’s Executive Director, Dr Benson Olugbuo, represented by the organisation’s Programme Advisor, Blessing Abiri, said at the workshop.
‘It is our expectations that community women-led organisations after the training will be well equipped to carry out advocacy and enlightenment campaigns to stakeholders such as parents, traditional, religious, youth leaders in communities on the dangers of human trafficking and forced migration’.
Also speaking, the Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, Lagos Zone, Sharan Alao, emphasised the need to involve community-based women in intervention programmes.
‘The sad documented reality is that women and children are the most vulnerable preys to human trafficking and irregular migration, with women constituting over 80 per cent of victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation’, Alao, who was represented by the agency’s Public Relations Officer, Hajara Tunde-Osho, said.
‘The problem of human trafficking and irregular migration has become a great national concern especially with a large number of Nigerians trapped in sexual and labour exploitations in various African and European countries.
‘Human Trafficking represents and presents a clear danger to human and national security and must be addressed boldly and frontally.
‘The goal here is not to ask our people not to migrate or travel, but to aim for safe and orderly migration with Nigerians especially our women, making informed decisions’.
At least 45 participants from various women-led organisations attended the capacity-building workshop.
Photo source: NAPTIP