Press Release —Local December 05, 2019

Safe Migration Campaign Targets Border Communities in Nigeria and Benin

Lagos - The need to address and reduce trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, at the border regions of Nigeria is a priority for the Government of Nigeria and its people.

From 21 to 26 November 2019, the Network of Civil Society Organization Against Child Trafficking and Labour (NACTAL) conducted an awareness-raising and sensitization campaign on the dangers of irregular migration, trafficking and smuggling at the borders of Seme and Idiroko, in Nigeria and Benin, respectively.

The campaign, supported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), included the collaboration of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

The campaign aimed to help reduce the incidences of trafficking and smuggling through the land borders as well as prevent deaths along irregular migration routes. The activities began at the Seme border in Nigeria and moved to Idiroko, Benin, and consisted of street rallies, a film screening and a roundtable with law enforcement agencies, community leaders, women, youth and local transporters.

“One of our key aims is to bridge the gap between law enforcement agencies within the borders and the community because many of the community members see the law enforcement as enemies and as threats,” said Emmanuel Adaramola, NACTAL president. “Therefore, it is our responsibility to bring together the leadership of the law enforcement agencies and border community members to discuss the possible solutions to these issues,” he added.

Campaigners also emphasized the importance of victim support, identification, reporting and family tracing, free movement of skills and labour, and the importance of valid travel documents.

The activity also presented the formation of a local committee consisting of youth, local and traditional leaders, women, transporters, artisans, media and law enforcement agencies at the borders to combat irregular migration, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. The committee is expected to be finalized later this year.

Earlier this year, NACTAL and IOM signed a grant agreement for the implementation of the project “Civil Society Actions to Combat Child Trafficking and Child Labour in Nigeria and Border Communities” under the FMM West Africa’s Fund for Non-State Actors. The fund was created to promote the active engagement of non-state actors and local authorities in information and protection activities targeting migrant and cross-border populations throughout West Africa.

The campaign falls under the NACTAL project which is funded by the European Union and ECOWAS Commission, through the FMM West Africa project.

For more information, please contact Rachel Kallon, IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 906 2421 085, Email: rkallon@iom.int