Children constitute 50% of trafficked victims in 2020 ―Expert

Chervine Oftadeh, Associate Expert, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has disclosed that a baseline assessment conducted by UNDOC in Nigeria in 2020 showed that children constituted half of the trafficked victims.

She said this on the first day of a capacity building training organised by the Pathfinder Justice Initiative (PJI) for law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges on investigation of trafficked victims and prosecution of traffickers in the country.

Oftadeh also said that the study had shown that there was lack of sufficient cooperation and coordination among the different law enforcement agencies tackling human trafficking in the country.

Also, speaking at the event, held in Benin, on Tuesday, Evon Benson-Idahosa, Executive Director, PJI, said the training aimed to improve collaboration among agencies handling human trafficking cases.

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She said the training focused on proper investigation and identification of persons that had been trafficked, as well as prosecution of traffickers.

“We want to encourage networking and connection among agencies involved in tackling  human trafficking, so they can achieve better results.

“The training is also about what is a successful investigation? 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.

Meanwhile, participants at the workshop have identified, court not in session, transfer of judges, withdrawal  of cases by trafficked victims, amongst others, as the challenges affecting the proper prosecution of human trafficking cases in the country.

The two-day workshop was funded by INSighT- Building Capacity to Deal with Human Trafficking and Transit Routes to Nigeria, Italy and Sweden, NAN reports.