Nigeria on Monday welcomed the international support to tackle the menace of human trafficking in the country, pledging urgent measures and cooperation with international community to rid the country of the menace.
The Nigerian delegation, led by acting ambassador to the UN, Anthony Bosah, made this pledge during the debate on “Trafficking in Persons in Conflict Situations: Forced Labour, Slavery, and Other Similar Practices,” at the Security Council.
Bosah said sexual exploitation of women and girls, including sexual enslavement, forced marriage and forced prostitution, are among the grave factors underpinning human trafficking during and in the wake of conflicts.
according to him, such exploitation is also used by extremist groups such as Boko Haram and their affiliates to generate revenue, as well as reward and retain terrorist fighters.
“Having realised the deleterious effects of this phenomenon, it is gratifying to note that we are all united in our conviction to overcome the evil of trafficking in persons, through effective international cooperation.
“Nigeria recognises the urgent need for the international community to fight trafficking and to take necessary steps to block financial flows between and among terrorist organisations.
“It is pertinent that Member States of the UN undertake investigations and prosecute cases of human trafficking perpetuated by their nationals.
“Nigeria considers it imperative that all perpetrators should be brought to justice through concerted international response necessary for resolving the challenge of human trafficking.
“Having established that most victims of trafficking are women and girls, it is only appropriate for our responses to include special attention to their rights,” he said.
According to him, Member States must also adopt gender-sensitive and rights-based migration policies in this regard.
“The fight against human trafficking has remained an issue of national priority for the government of Nigeria.
“The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, which is the principal institution charged with the responsibility of leading this fight, has provided an effective and comprehensive legal and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention, detection, persecution and punishment of crimes of human trafficking.
“The Agency, with the active collaboration of international partners, has made very significant contributions to the fight against trafficking in persons.
“We appreciate the efforts of humanitarian actors that are undertaking advocacy campaigns to publicize the risks of trafficking, the tactics employed to coerce and traffic victims, and what such victims could do to protect themselves.”
Bosah said in addition to taking preventive measures, States must engage in the protection of victims in adherence to Palermo Protocol, which specifically requires States to protect the human rights of victims and to provide measures for the physical, psychological and social recovery of victims of trafficking.
“Nigeria recognizes the various efforts made at the international level to combat human trafficking,” the head of Nigerian delegation said.
He said considering the multidimensional nature of these phenomena, Nigeria believed that these crimes must be addressed both collectively and comprehensively, including by taking a close look at its root causes and drivers.
Bosah therefore thanked the delegation of the United Kingdom for organising the event and the Secretary-General and other envoys for sharing their perspectives on the issue.
“We must also adopt a coherent, comprehensive and coordinated approach, while recognizing the role and responsibilities of countries of origin, transit and destination in promoting and effectively protecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all individuals subjected to these crimes.
“We must aim to enhance coherence and build alliances to confront these issues head-on. Equally critical is the need for greater responsibility sharing to provide protection to those in need.
“To achieve this objective, we must implement the strategy laid out in the Global Plan of Action to Combat Human Trafficking.
“With solid partnerships and a clear approach, we can ensure the criminals are brought to justice,” Bosah said.