Human Trafficking: FG advises global community on Nordic model approach

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By Ibironke Ariyo
Abuja, Oct. 16, 2020 The Federal Government has advised the global community on the need to adopt the Nordic model approach to combat prostitution, human trafficking and to strengthen international cooperation through uncensored intelligence sharing.

Julie Okah-Donli, the Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), gave the advice in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja by the Public Relations Officer of the agency, Mr Adekoye Vincent.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nordic model approach to prostitution otherwise known as “Sex Buyer Law” criminalises buying of sex from victims of human trafficking and forced prostitution to reduce the demand that drives human trafficking.

Okah-Donli said that this became necessary following the enormous threats and security implications posed on the global community.

She noted that smuggling of migrants, trafficking of firearms and other serious crimes would be addressed through the approach when implemented.

She said it was worrisome that illicit financial flows, cybercrime and trafficking of persons had scaled up the level of terrorism, kidnapping and other organised crimes.

“Nigeria is concerned that terrorism continues to threaten peace and security at the global, regional and national levels.

“Nigeria will not relent but continue to deploy resources to combat terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, which continues to further its criminal activities in the country and its border countries.

“We will continue to condemn acts of terrorism in all its manifestations, including kidnapping and hostage taking by terrorists to raise funds, the activities of foreign terrorist fighters, the linkage with corruption, illicit financial flows, cybercrime and trafficking in persons.

“This is why we call on all member states to strengthen cooperation at all levels to combat the threat posed by terrorism and to enhance timely information sharing, logistic support and capacity-building activities as provided by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to requesting member states,” she said.

Okah-Donli lauded the contributions of intergovernmental working groups established under the convention, and highlighted the importance of international cooperation in facilitating mutual legal assistance for tracing, freezing, seizure, and confiscation of stolen asset.

She commended the unconditional return of proceeds of crime to their countries of origin, as well as for extradition and exchange of information in transnational criminal cases, particularly, trafficking in persons, cultural property, drugs and firearms.

The director general said that NAPTIP had continued to carry out its operations to adapt to new challenges and emerging trends through the 5Ps approach of Policy, Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnership.

She said that the 5ps policy documents was developed to address specific issues, such as children in formal care, reintegration, reporting, and victims’ protection and assistance.

“These programmes have been developed following the re-enactment of the trafficking in Persons Prohibition, Enforcement and Administration (TIPPEA Act) 2015.

“Nigeria has continued to take serious measures to fulfil her obligations under the UNTOC and Protocols by improving domestic conditions through our comprehensive Strategic Action Plan.

“The Action Plan guides national responses to issues of human trafficking, smuggling of migrants, trafficking in firearms, corruption, terrorism, illicit financial flows, money laundering, drug trafficking and other serious crimes as defined in the Convention.

“This is also taking into account the United Nations Global Action Plan adapted to our country’s specific situations, challenges and priorities,” she said.

NAN reports that the UN 10th Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC) is currently ongoing in Vienna, with no fewer than 162 countries and 37 Non-Governmental Organisations in attendance.

The Convention is the annual convocation of nations across the world aimed at reviewing activities of member states, appraise efforts and make recommendations where necessary on areas of improvement and collaboration in the fight against organised crimes.

The Nigerian delegation is being led by the NAPTIP boss.

The 10th session of the convention lays emphasis on COVID-19 and its effects as a major accelerator of criminal activities and seeks to get member states in a multilateral approach in combating organised crime.

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