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September 07, 2007

Anti-Trafficking Workshops are a Success in Nigeria


ABA ROLI, in collaboration with Nigeria’s National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) and the National Judicial Institute (NJI), successfully organized and held pilot anti-trafficking capacity building workshops for high court judges and state prosecutors in Nigeria.  The first, for the southwestern states, occurred in May 2007, and another covering the southern zone concluded in July 2007.

The workshops, which assembled judges, magistrates and state counsel from the southwestern states of the country, constitute a critical component of ABA ROLI’s Criminal Law and Trafficking Program in Nigeria, the objective of which is to build the anti-TIP capacities of prosecutors, judges, police officers, and immigration officers through trainings and skill-building workshops.

The trainings took place in the cities of Ijebu-ode and Calabar, and twenty Judges along with nine state prosecutors were trained by resource persons from ABA ROLI, NAPTIP, NJI, and the Nigerian Law School.

The training program included presentations on:

  • The International Legal Regime of Trafficking in Persons
  • The Features and Salient Penal Provisions of the Anti-Human Trafficking-in-Persons Legislation of 2003
  • The Transnational Nature of the Offense of Trafficking in Persons and the Jurisdiction of Nigerian courts
  • The Management of Trafficking-in-Persons cases, from Arrest through Prosecution to Rehabilitation.
  • Adjudicating TIP cases: Jurisdiction, Procedure and Sentencing issues.

The objectives of the training workshops were as follows:

  1. To sensitize prosecutors and other members of the bar as well as the bench on the menace of human trafficking in Nigeria.
  2. To train prosecutors, members of the bar and the bench on current trends in human trafficking across the globe, particularly regarding to the adjudication of TIP.

At the beginning of the workshops, the participants listed their key expectations as follows:

  • To gain more knowledge on the nature, elements and effects of TIP in Nigerian society.
  • To foster better cooperation both among judges and between judges and prosecutors in adjudicating TIP cases.
  • To gain further insight into the psyche of the victim as a witness.
  • To gain better a understanding of the salient provisions of Nigeria's TIP statute.
  • To be able to apply knowledge gained at the workshop in the prosecution and adjudication of TIP cases including drawing up charge sheets, taking evidence in court and sentencing.

At the conclusion of the training workshops, participants generally indicated a notable increase in their understanding of Trafficking in Persons as well as a greater appreciation of the standards expected in adjudicating TIP cases.  These conclusions were drawn from answers given in the pre-test and post- training questionnaires by the participants.

Participants also showed a greater appreciation of the provisions of the Nigerian Anti-TIP Law; the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act of 2003, and its importance in the proper prosecution and adjudication of TIP cases