Ottawa: On the eve of the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, Canadian officials joined representatives from the governments of Nigeria and Switzerland as well as international and civil society organizations on Wednesday (July 29) to launch a series of initiatives to assist the Nigerian government in their efforts to disrupt human trafficking and smuggling operations, as well as irregular migration.
Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to fighting human trafficking, migrant smuggling, and irregular migration as the series of initiatives were unveiled in Nigeria.
Minister Mendicino noted that Canada was pleased to be partnering with Nigeria on three new initiatives to improve migration and border management, supported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and ARK, an international communications company.
The IOM will continue to roll out the entry and exit border control system, known as the Migration Information and Data Analysis System, at the Abuja and Lagos international airports.
This will support Nigeria’s ability to protect its borders by managing the flow of travellers into and through its country, while helping it to identify criminals and possible human trafficking and migrant smuggling cases.
UNODC will work with Nigeria to counter human trafficking and migrant smuggling operations by identifying and responding to these criminal activities, through improved data gathering and data analysis techniques.
ARK will use its communication expertise to support Nigeria to enhance its human trafficking and irregular migration deterrence campaigns, through integrating and applying data analysis into its targeted messaging.
The Government of Canada is investing $4 million over the next 2 years in the initiatives in Nigeria.
Mendicino said: “The partnerships we are announcing today will disrupt human trafficking and migrant smuggling rings, and help to stop those who would prey on some of the world’s most vulnerable for their own gain. Canada will continue to work alongside our partners and world leaders in fighting traffickingt.”