By Joy Odigie
Benin, Jan. 19, 2021 Half of human trafficking victims in Nigeria in 2020 were children, Chervine Oftadeh, an official of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, (UNODC) said in Benin on Tuesday.
Oftadeh, an Associate Expert said his declaration was informed by a baseline assessment conducted by UNODC in Nigeria.
He was speaking at a capacity building training for law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges on investigation of trafficking and prosecution of traffickers.
He said that the assessment showed that there was lack of sufficient cooperation and coordination between the different law enforcement agencies tackling human trafficking in Nigeria.
The training was organised by Pathfinder Justice Initiative (PJI), a non-governmental organisation.
In her remarks, Evon Benson-Idahosa, Executive Director of PJI, said the training aimed to improve collaboration between agencies handling human trafficking.
“We want to encourage networking and connection between agencies involved in tackling human trafficking so they can achieve better results.
“The training is also about what a successful investigation is and to query what are we not utilising as regards successful investigation? What is the law on trafficking? What are the steps you should take when it comes to prosecution?’’ she explained.
Participants at the workshop identified closed courts, transfer of judges, withdrawal of litigation by trafficked victims as some of the challenges they faced in proper prosecution of trafficking.
The two-day workshop was funded by INSighT, a multinational non-governmental organisation to build capacity to deal with human trafficking and monitor transit routes to Nigeria, Italy and Sweden.