The European A-TIPSOM project has promoted the creation of a manual to support the Nigerian agencies fighting trafficking and illegal immigration
Human trafficking is a serious human rights violation that affects thousands of people who fall victim to traffickers every year. In Nigeria, migration is primarily from the country of origin, with people trying to escape from difficult social, economic and safety situations. It includes the emigration of nationals who leave for other countries in the subregion, towards Europe and others toward more distant points who travel along dangerous, unauthorised routes through North African countries, mainly Libya, Morocco and Tunisia.
The A-TIPSOM project, which is financed by the European Union, supports the Nigerian government in its efforts to reduce human trafficking and migrant smuggling, both nationally and regionally, as well as between Nigeria and the EU with a particular focus on women and children.
As part of this project, A-TIPSOM and the National Immigration Service (NIS), along with police specialists, a large group of government agencies and civil society representatives have created an action protocol to combat migrant smuggling that has been presented at an official ceremony.
The operational manual incorporates European standards on the matter and is an effective working tool for officers fighting against international people trafficking networks in the country, providing basic concepts regarding the specifics of human trafficking and migrant smuggling. It also offers the possibility of increasing cooperation between the different agencies working in this area, since it details the tasks they perform and the steps to follow in case of identifying situations indicative of migrant smuggling.
The document also specifies the actions to be taken regarding the protection of victims of trafficking to guarantee and increase their rights and protect the most vulnerable, establishing a monitoring and evaluation committee that will take responsibility for achieving results and improving communication between the different stakeholders who have participated in the action manual.
This tool will be used in the project’s training courses in Nigeria. In a first phase, these will be in areas bordering Niger and in the north of the country.
The presentation ceremony was attended by representatives of A-TIPSOM, the NIS, the Nigerian police, the European Union delegation in Nigeria, members of the Spanish and Netherlands embassies, and the agencies that helped to prepare the manual.
The head of the NIS, Muhammed Babandede, praised the excellent collaboration with the project’s managing foundation, FIIAPP, through the A-TIPSOM project, and the effectiveness of the tool created to combat migrant smuggling and mafia activity in Nigeria and other countries in the region. He also highlighted the importance of interagencycollaboration, a key element in fighting this crime, as well as the importance of training the officers who fight these criminal organisations.
The person in charge of the A-TIPSOM project, the inspector of the Spanish Policia Nacional, Rafael Ríos, said he was grateful for the work carried out by the agencies and specialists who have helped to prepare the document, and he explained that it will be used in future training to help combat migrant smuggling. He has also expressed the hopes of all the people and organisations involved in the A-TIPSOM project, to continue working to support the Nigerian agencies that fight against trafficking and clandestine immigration.