Human trafficking: UK pledges support for Nigeria

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The United Kingdom has pledged support to Nigeria in its efforts to tackle human trafficking and illegal migration challenges.

UK High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, made the pledge after he visited Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja on Monday.

He said the UK would collaborate with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to rehabilitate the hundreds of Libyan returnees.

Arkwright said UK was ready to assist in the area of vocational training and skill development for all the repatriated migrants.

“UK is interested in how it can stop illegal migration to ensure that victims of trafficking do not find their ways back to Libya in future but stay in Nigeria with good jobs.

“We promised to assist NAPTIP in the rehabilitation of the returnees,” he said.

He said there was the need to step up anti trafficking awareness campaign as well as creating employment opportunities for the youth.

“We need to create employment opportunity in Nigeria and I know that the government is also working in that direction.

“We are working with the NAPTIP to provide expertise to screen and stabilise the returnees who have just been repatriated.

“We are looking at how to create support in the safe house in Benin. We are looking at how to provide support for people in the same category,” he said.

He said the returnees needed support because they should not be brought back and be sent to their communities without providing means of livelihood for them.

According to him, they need care, they need protection and they must be protected.

“We are looking at how we can create job opportunities so that these people will not feel that they need to go elsewhere for work or for jobs,” he said.

Similarly, Onyeama said the high commissioner who came with DFID UK officials were briefed on some of the challenges Nigeria had in integrating and rehabilitating the returnees.

“We identified certain areas where the UK can be of help, especially with capacity building for NAPTIP officials on border control and rehabilitation.

“The envoy promised to assist in providing vocational training and skill development for all the returnees.

“I also mentioned the possibility of establishing a data base so that they can be followed up, as the UK is willing to help,” the minister said.