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NAPTIP secures 403 convictions against traffickers, advises against irregular migration

Human trafficking and irregular migration have been described as a scourge that must be risen against to protect the world economy and wellbeing of humanity according to the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

The Lagos Zonal Commandant of the agency, Mr Dan Atokolo reinstated thus: “This is a clarion call to all men, institutions, groups, clubs, Civil Society Groups (CSOs), government, corporate bodies, law enforcement institutions to gird their loins, raise voices and join hands to combat this crime that has shamed us all.  In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, “Our live begins to end the day we became silent about things that matter”.

He spoke while delivering a key note address on action against human trafficking in Nigeria during an online summit organised by the Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM).

Addressing the forum with over 150 journalists across the continents, the NAPTIP Commandant added that: “Human Trafficking is a threat to national and human security of any nation irrespective of the level of government.
“No country can survive with the huge cost of human trafficking and irregular migration to the depletion of its human resources.

“Our country’s greatest asset is our population and our youth population is the future of this country.  This scourge is a clear and present danger that urgently demands all hands on deck and warrants the deployment of resources of both society and government to reverse it.

“The spike in insurgency and brazenness of terrorism must be located in its capacity to recruit members to its fold from the undiscerning minds, less advantaged class of the society and army of vulnerable persons within the grassroots levels of governance” he said.

The Zonal Commandant explained that with over 430 convictions since 2003, NAPTIP, would continue to make Nigeria a hot zone for human traffickers.

He said with the agency’s act passed in 2003 and repealed in 2015, the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015 Nigeria has demonstrated the political will to effectively combat human trafficking activities in Nigeria and beyond.

“NAPTIP has become a training ground for other countries including European countries to learn good practices in the fight against human trafficking as a number of them now sent officials on study tour of NAPTIP with a view to establishing such Agency in their countries.”

He explained that with the launch of Sex Offenders Register aimed at naming and shaming of sex offenders with the provision of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) actions had been speed up against huge number of women and children being trafficked around the world.

“Their trauma and pains make them cherry picking for insurgents and terrorists.  Along the path of human trafficking, life is short brutish and nasty and the slender thread of hope diminishes each day turning the victim into willing tools in the hands of his or her captors ready to exact vengeance on their society.

“Need I say more about the economic consequences of brain drain and loss of human capital which are the twin occupants of the scourge. We must, as a people begin to invest resources that seek to address the push factors or grey grasses which compel our youths or citizens to migrate illegally or fall prey to traffickers.

“We should not be unmindful of the health consequences too; the attendant cost of reception and health screening of returnees withdrawn from camps in Libya” Atokolo said.

READ  Nigeria quarantines trafficked girls  rescued from Lebanon

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Dominican Republic, IOM clear hurdles for 100,000 Venezuelan migrants

The Migration Normalization Plan will allow Venezuelans living irregularly in the Dominican Republic to work, move without risk of deportation, open bank accounts and join the country’s social security system.  Photo: IOM / Francesco Spotorno

 

 

Santo Domingo – The first group of almost 100,000 Venezuelan migrants without legal status in the Dominican Republic have received visas allowing them to work, open bank accounts and join the social security system under the country’s Migration Normalization Plan.

Created by the Dominican government and launched with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the plan aims to regularize the Venezuelan population in three stages: application for extension of stay, visa, and residency. Since April, when the first phase began, 43,000  Venezuelans have registered to extend their stay and, on 1 July, the first group of 21 Venezuelans received their work visa.

“Now that I have my visa, I feel that for others like me a lot of opportunities are opening. We will be able to establish more safely and formally to offer a better future to our children,” says Gabriela Rivero, who arrived in the country with her husband and daughter in 2018.  “Once we settled, we did not imagine how difficult it would be to get a job because the lack of documentation closed all doors.”

READ  Covid-19: A-TIPSOM donates palliative worth over #18m to NAPTIP, CSOs

Since 2019 Gabriela has led a support organization for Venezuelan migrants in Santiago de los Caballeros called FEV (Fundación Emigrantes de Venezuela), which offers free orientation and helps hundreds of migrants daily to complete their normalization plan applications.

With IOM support, eight Venezuelan migrant organizations have created orientation hubs to assist the Venezuelan population who are applying to the plan. Of the 43,000  registered through the General Directorate of Migration (DGM) web page, around 9,000 have visited the hubs for help on the procedure. The promoters and coordinators of each hub – mostly Venezuelan migrants – have learned the process with the support and guidance of the DGM team and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIREX). Besides being trained for orientation, they became the pilot group of the plan to receive their extensions and visas.

“The idea of this process is that we are the ones at the front of the hubs, a migrant helping a migrant, a Venezuelan helping a Venezuelan,” says Iván Carrera, a lawyer from Caracas and legal adviser of FUNCOVERD (Fundación Colonia de Venezolanos en RD). Carrera works as a promoter at the orientation hub in El Sambil Santo Domingo, one of the locations with the most people requesting support for their application.

READ  Visa free policy: Nigerian ex lawmaker, former Minister disagree

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IOM launches open South America portal

International Organisation of Migration (

Buenos Aires – IOM, the International Organization for Migration, this week launched the Open South America Portal, a web platform providing migrants and stakeholders in the region with access to reliable and timely information on human mobility restrictions and health and safety measures adopted by governments in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Open South America, available in SpanishEnglish and Portuguese, shares official information by country on the latest measures, including border restrictions, quarantine requirements and COVID-19 tests for migrants and travellers.

The portal also provides updated information on authorized entry points and key places for travellers and migrants, such as consulates, migrant care and health centres, airports, border crossings points and ports. This information can be explored through an interactive map.

The platform, funded by the IOM Development Fund, is also accessible to vulnerable migrants who may be stranded or are at risk of receiving misinformation on migration.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, South America has been one of the most impacted regions worldwide. According to the World Health Organization figures, as of 8 July 2021 there were 33,475,765 COVID-19 cumulative cases in the region, which represents 89 per cent of the total cases in Latin America, and 18 per cent of all infections recorded globally.

READ  Boris Johnson is shutting the door on child refugees

Countries such as Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador all experienced severe outbreaks. For example, Brazil currently reports the third highest number of cumulative cases (18,855,015) and second highest death toll (526,892) globally.

“Open South America will facilitate orderly, regular and responsible migration in South America amid the uncertain times of COVID-19 and after the pandemic,” said Minister Ana Laura Cachaza, General Director of Consular Affairs of the Government of Argentina.

“Migrants’ access to up-to-date information through innovative online tools is essential considering the changing migration dynamic in the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for South America.

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29,000 Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians, other Africans migrated through the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in 2021 —IOM

The International Organisation for Migration has said that 29,000 individuals including Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians and other Africans have emigrated to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea this year.

About 13,000 were arrested by the coast guards and returned home while 761 migrants were said to have perished in the sea.

Disclosing this to journalists in Abuja on Friday, the Chief of Mission, IOM Nigeria, Mr Franz Celestin, said less than five per cent of migrants usually made it to Europe, adding that the vast majority stay in Africa.

He further said that a lot of migrants were trafficked within the Economic Community of West African States, adding that Mali was the number one destination point for trafficked Nigerian women.

Responding to questions on the number of people who have undertaken the perilous trip to Europe through the Mediterranean, the IOM Chief said, “A combination of unemployment and underemployment is pushing people to migrate.

READ  Nigerian medical student dies in Russia

“In this year, 29,000 migrants from Sub-Sahara Africa have migrated to Europe through the Mediterranean. About 13,000 were intercepted by the coastguard while 761 died.”

International Organisation of Migration (

Celestin stressed the importance of tackling human trafficking which he said grossed about $150 billion annually.

“Traffickers make a lot of money and they would continue to do it until a coordinated response is evolved to stop them. We are collaborating with Interpol in this respect; we are connected to the Interpol i/247 database. We connected the MIDAS to the Interpol database where we pass the information on traffickers to the Interpol,” he stated.

Celestin explained that the IOM has been involved in the biometric registration of children in the North-East, noting that the agency has registered no fewer than 17,053 children in 18 different internally displaced person camps between 2019 and May 2021 in Borno State.

The agency chief also disclosed that IOM was involved in the G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Compact for North-East.

READ  India leaves Nigerians , others, out of stimulus packages programme

 

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