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Human trafficking in West Africa: three out of four victims are children says UNODC report

 

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) jointly with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) today presented the key findings of UNODC Fifth Global Report on Trafficking in Persons to stakeholders from the Government of Nigeria, civil society organizations and international partners. The report shows that children represent more than 75% of trafficking victims detected in West Africa.

The report covers 148 countries and more than 95 per cent of the world’s population, using primarily official statistics on trafficking cases between 2016 and 2019. Countries in West Africa tend to detect more victims than other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, mainly children and for the purpose of forced labour. Out of 4799 victims detected in 26 Sub-Saharan Africa countries, 3336 were in West Africa including 2553 children. UNODC data suggests that close to 80% of victims in West Africa were trafficked for forced labour, which remains the major form of exploitation in the region.

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“Trafficking in persons is one of the most lucrative criminal markets globally. Nigeria is an origin, transit and destination country and is affected by both domestic and cross-border trafficking. A collaborative approach is crucial in tackling this crime and NAPTIP has made efforts to ensure trafficking cases are being investigated in close collaboration with other law enforcement agencies,” said Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, NAPTIP Director-General.

On behalf of Sadiya Umar Farouq, Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social DevelopmentChief of Staff Edima Otuokon welcomed the report as it “will provide valuable insight to all stakeholders and actors as we continue to face unprecedented challenges as a result of trafficking in persons.” She added that “the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development will continue to place emphasis on successes of ongoing programmes and partnerships to ensure the fight against trafficking in persons is sustainable.”

The majority of victims in West Africa are trafficked within their own countries or across the border from neighbouring countries. In spite of an increasing number of Sub-Saharan Africa countries introducing a specific offense against trafficking in persons in line with the United Nations definition (38 in 2020 compared to 2 in 2003), the conviction rate in the region remains lower than in other parts of the world.

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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.

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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.

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“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  UNHCR warns asylum under attack at Europe’s borders, urges end to pushbacks and violence against refugees

 

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FG condemns killing of Nigerian footballer in UK

Kelvin

The Federal government has condemned the alleged killing of a Nigerian Footballer, Kelvin Igweani, by the UK police.

Recall that Igweani, a Nigerian Footballer, was shot dead by officers, who attended a call out to a house, where a child was found with serious injuries.

Reacting, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), in Abuja on Wednesday described the incident as very unfortunate,and sad.

Dabiri-Erewa condoled with the family of the deceased and the Nigerian communities in the UK while praying that God grants rest to the soul of the departed.

“We call on the UK government for a thorough and proper investigation to be carried out on the incident,” the statement added.

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READ  IOM calls for end to pushbacks and violence against migrants at EU external borders
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