FIC Report (Edo State) – The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR] in Nigeria has organized a two – day training on International Protection for Mixed Movement Intervention Partners in Edo State.
The objective of the two day capacity building workshop is to equip Mixed Movement Programme Partners of UNHCR in Edo State with the necessary knowledge and tools for identification, protection and assistance of victims of human trafficking, especially those who may need International protection.
At the workshop, some resource persons delivered papers on different areas. The Benin Zonal Commander of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons [NAPTIP], Barr Nduka Nwanwenne delivered a paper titled, Background, Statistics of Human Trafficking /Violence Against Persons And An Overview of National Protection Framework Against Human Trafficking.
In the paper, Barr Nwanwenne dwelled on Elements of human trafficking, The causes of human trafficking, Purposes of human trafficking, National response to human trafficking, Policy development and implementation as well as protection framework.
The Benin Zonal Commander of NAPTIP said that human trafficking has become a global menace with huge consequences on all spheres of the society. He added that the trade is the second largest organized crime in the world after drugs and firearms. He noted that in spite of all the measures the government and other stakeholders have carried out against the scourge, it has not abated.
According to him, between July 2003 and 14th March, 2022, NAPTIP has rescued a total number of 17,443 victims of human trafficking. He further said that within the same period under review, a total number of 502 persons have been convicted for crime of human trafficking and violence against persons, while the Benin Zonal Command has earned 63 convictions. He complained that the slow pace of adjudication in Nigerian courts is a hindrance to the progress of the Agency in the area of prosecuting human traffickers.
Barr Nwanwenne submitted that the fight against human trafficking should not be left for the government alone , that other stakeholders like religious leaders, traditional rulers and others should work together to eradicate the menace
Mr. Peter Wamtul who represented the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons [NCFRMI] spoke on Asylum Policy and Practice in Nigeria. The speaker highlighted the following in the paper : The Nigerian Government And Refugee Management, Establishment of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Functions of NCFRMI, Definition of a Refugee, Non Refoulement, Exception to non – Refoulement, The Asylum Policy and Practice in Nigeria as well as The Refugee Status Determination [RSD] Procedure.
ASP Paul Atiti of the Edo State Command of the Nigerian Immigration Service spoke on Potential solutions for foreign VoTs under national immigration law, where he highlighted Temporary protection status, Voluntary return /repatriation and or local integration, etc.
A representative of UNHCR, Mrs. Bunmi Olaonipekun, handled the Introduction to International Refugee Protection. Listed under the topic are, Meaning of International Protection, Definition of protection, Content of International Protection, Protection activity, who is responsible to protect, who is in charge of the International protection of Refugees? Legal instruments applicable in Africa, Pillars of International protection, The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Other persons of concern, Cooperation between States and UNHCR, Statistics of refugees and Asylum seekers in Nigeria [March 2022], International Mandate of UNHCR and Statistics of IDPs and Nigerian refugees in the Lake Chad Basin [March 2022].
Mrs. Olaonipekun also discussed the Introduction to Mixed Movement as well as Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. UNHCR Mixed Movement programming in Nigeria and Review of IEC messaging for use in communicating with communities were also treated.
The two day workshop was well attended. Civil society organizations, representatives of Muslims and Christian communities, governmental and non – governmental organizations were in attendance. It was an interactive exercise. Certificates were given to the participants at the end of the session.
An Associate Project Officer in the Benin office of UNHCR who was one of the resource persons, Mrs. Uyimen Johnson thanked the participants for honoring her organization’s invitation. She expressed happiness for their contributions and advised them to take the learning forward, adapting it in their programming.