CLEEN Foundation, a Non-Government Organisation (NGO), in collaboration with other stakeholders, has called for enhanced protection services for victims of trafficking
Dr Benson Olugbuo, CLEEN Executive Director, made the call on Tuesday in Lagos during an advocacy dialogue on the outcome of Gender Audit on Protection Services for Victims of Trafficking.
The other stakeholders are the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the UN Women.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CLEEN Foundation, in its bid to tackle trafficking, had carried out a gender audit in Lagos State on protection services within existing trafficking shelters, safe homes, other front-line services and providers.
Olugbuo said that the gender audit brought out gaps and constraints which the foundation would tackle along with its stakeholders.
“CLEEN Foundation launched a project that focuses on preventing forced migration and trafficking of women and girls in Nigeria to build resilience and promote sustainable development.
“This is in a bid to enable a gender-sensitive policy environment that addresses forced migration and trafficking.
“It also increases gender-sensitive information and awareness-raising in source migration and trafficking sites of Edo and Lagos States.x
“In furtherance of the project objectives, we have successfully carried out a number of activities in these two states’’ he said.
“ The gender audit brought out gaps and constraints within the existing shelters and safe homes , as well as being faced by the frontline service providers in terms of the available services and level of gender responsiveness in the provision of the services in Lagos,” he said.
Olugbuo said that the critical areas of constraints identified from the gender audit included funding, policies such as referral mechanism, referral pathways and data collation.
He said the audit also recommended the relevant stakeholders needed to address some of the challenges.
“It is our expectations that after this meeting, stakeholders will be duly abreast of the findings and recommendations from the gender audit conducted in Lagos and also chart a pathway on how the recommendations can be effectively implemented.
“Each stakeholder is expected to contribute their own quota toward the implementation that will effectively drive curbing human trafficking and force migration in Lagos.” he said.
Mr Aganran Alao, the NAPTIP Commander, Lagos Zone, also said that the agency has identified that the only way to effectively tackle human trafficking was through coordinated partnership.
Alao said that the burden on the agency has increased with the recent surge in the population of Nigerians returning home from sexual and labour exploitation camps.
He urged other stakeholders to step up to the fight against trafficking.
“This is not going to be a talk shop but an opportunity for us to consider some challenges in the execution of our duties and provision of necessary services to victims of human trafficking.
“We are to proffer smart solutions which will facilitate the achievement of our mandates as individual and collective organisations.
“Human trafficking represents a clear and present danger to human and national security and must be addressed boldly and frontally.
“The goal here is to build a coordinated system that will help us record even more success stories as we strive to give victims another chance to life.
“To all stakeholders present, I say the little good you do for a victim will go a long way in changing various chapters in their life story. No Nigerian is another’s slave,” Alao said.
The commander commended CLEEN and the UN Women for their partnership in the areas of development and execution of projects aimed at preventing the continuous proliferation of human trafficking.