By Ajibola Abayomi,
Ottawa – The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, has reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to fighting human trafficking, migrant smuggling, and irregular migration as a series of initiatives were unveiled in Nigeria.
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 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.
Minister Mendicino noted that Canada was pleased to be partnering with Nigeria on 3 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.
Each organization will participate in various initiatives being undertaken in Nigeria.
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 travelers into and through its country, while helping it to identify criminal travelers 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.
This is part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to combating human trafficking around the world, which includes investing $4 million over the next 2 years in the initiatives in Nigeria.
The Minister 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 worlds most vulnerable for their own gain. Canada will continue to work alongside our partners and world leaders in fighting trafficking and smuggling operations to support safe migration, and strengthening data analysis and increasing awareness is a critical component of that.”