By Oladele Eniola
Mr. Franz Celestin, Head of Mission, International Organization for Migration (IOM), on Wednesday reiterated the organization’s commitment to support the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in the fight against human trafficking and irregular migration.
Célestine spoke in Lagos during the launch of a traveling exhibition project to raise awareness and to hand over a bus to NAPTIP.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the awareness exhibition project is a collaboration between the Swiss Confederation, IOM and NAPTIP.
He noted that the bus would help raise awareness about the fight against human trafficking in various communities across the country.
“Trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants are serious crimes and, as such, must not go unpunished. However, impunity is such that it is more profitable for criminals to traffic in human beings than in small arms.
“This $ 150 billion a year criminal enterprise has high profits, with low risks for traffickers, therefore, stepping up efforts in the criminal justice response is of the utmost importance to increase the number of cases of criminal justice. investigations, prosecutions and convictions.
“We are committed to ensuring that we create and spread awareness of this crime in all communities, especially those at the local level, so that this blue bus would go a long way in ensuring that this happens.
“The bus would help NAPTIP officials travel to various communities across the country to raise awareness of the dangers of human trafficking and how to ensure that we eradicate this threat from society,” he said.
He explained that the bus was fully equipped with all the tools and machines needed to help raise awareness in various communities.
Celestin said the project will start with communities in Lagos, Edo and Delta before starting in other states around the country.
“Through continued support and partnership, IOM purchased and designed an outreach traveling exhibition bus, fully equipped with audiovisual and written information, to address the risks and challenges associated with human trafficking. humans.
“The blue bus is a unique place where vulnerable migrants, as well as members of the community, can get information on the risks associated with human trafficking, where to report cases and get advice on the spot,” he said. -he declares.
He commended the federal government for the framework put in place to effectively manage migration, human trafficking and smuggling of migrants.
Mr. Thomas Schneider, Consul General of Switzerland, in Lagos, noted that awareness raising was imperative in the fight against human trafficking.
“We are determined and determined to educate people across the country, as most of them are unaware of the consequences of illegal migration.
“When people migrate illegally to countries they think they are going to Heaven, but it’s always the exact opposite because as an illegal migrant you can’t lead a normal life and most of the time, you have to hide.
“Awareness is vital because most people don’t know about all of these things, so traffickers use this weakness to exploit them,” he said.
Mr. Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, Director General of NAPTIP, congratulated the Swiss government and IOM for the project.
Represented by Mr. Hassan Tahir, Director of Legal Affairs and Prosecutions, NAPTIP, Sulaiman-Ibrahim assured that the officers would use the bus to the maximum.
“The blue bus project would carry our messages to all states in the federation, since no state is spared in crime and also to interact with high-risk groups in order to provide them with protection,” he said. -he declares. (NOPE)
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