The European Union has reiterated its commitment to fight Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (TIPSOM) in Nigeria.
Ron Hendrix, the EU programme officer in charge of Migration, Organised Crime and Drugs, made this known at a conference on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (TIPSOM) in Abuja on Wednesday.
The conference was organised by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and supported by the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policy (FIIAPP).
FIIAPP is the promoter of Action Against Trafficking in Person and Smuggling of Migrants (TIPSOM) in Nigeria.
Mr Hendrix said the EU would provide support through a dedicated programme in collaboration with the UN Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC) and FIIAPP to launch a programme in the early part of 2024 to check trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.
He called on the federal government to strengthen efforts towards prevention and enhance response to counter migrant smuggling
and address alternatives to irregular migration.
The EU official, who listed policy, prevention, protection, prosecution and partnership as the Union’s guiding framework, urged members and stakeholders in the fight against trafficking to continue in that direction.
He disclosed that the European Commission is proposing a regulation to reinforce Europols’ role and interagency cooperation in the fight against migrant smuggling and trafficking of human beings.
Mr Hendrix said that to do this, the European Commission will strengthen coordination at the EU level, strengthen inter-agency cooperation, improve information sharing, reinforce resources and strengthen Europol support through staff deployment.