As the world celebrates 2020 International Migrants Day, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, has reiterated the importance of comprehensive, reliable, and up-to-date data for evidence-based and efficient criminal justice and crime prevention strategies against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in Nigeria.

According to UNODC, efficient data collection and analysis permits to better understand the current trends and patterns of these crimes including the major forms of exploitation, trafficking, and smuggling flow, modus operandi of traffickers and smugglers while also providing crucial information on the profiles of the victims and/or perpetrators involved (gender, age, educational background, and others).

The International Agency recalled that to support Nigeria’s efforts in this field, from 10 to 12 December 2020 it gathered officers from the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, and the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, for a workshop on the use of data in the fight against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. This activity was supported by the Government of Canada, under the project “Strengthening Evidence-Based Response against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Nigeria”.

According to a press statement from the UNODC, NAPTIP and NIS officers from headquarters and the field learned on best practices in collecting, reporting, or analyzing data as well as on how they could use it to better fight trafficking and smuggling crimes. NAPTIP and NIS also presented their current data collection methods, explained the challenges they face while discussing ways to improve current efforts.

UNODC, however, promised to provide further technical assistance to NAPTIP and NIS with the aim to improve both agencies’ capacities in collecting, analyzing, and using data.

Meanwhile, the Canadian-funded project will also support data collection within the framework of the UNODC Observatory on Smuggling of Migrants. The Observatory gathers information on the smuggling of migrants in Nigeria presented it on an online platform to go live in 2021.

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