The Nigerian Government, Kingdom of the Netherlands and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), on Tuesday, introduced a scheme called Cooperation on Migration and Partnerships for Sustainable Solutions (COMPASS), to tackle human trafficking and assist vulnerable migrants have access to assistance services.
IOM’s Programme Manager, Saskia Kok, who spoke at the launch of COMPASS in Abuja, disclosed that since 2017, a total ofCOMPASS will provide and improve sustainable reintegration of victims of trafficking in specific communities of origin and return.
Ms Kok disclosed that since 2017, a total of 21, 325 stranded Nigerians in Libya, Niger, Mali and Europeans countries were assisted to voluntarily return to Nigeria.
She, however, expressed worry that despite all efforts, Nigeria remains a country of origin, transit, and destination country for trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.
According to her, the recent outbreak of and spread of COVID-19 has further created an additional impact on irregular migration trends, with thousands of migrants still stranded in Libya, Niger, Mali as well as the Middle East.
She stressed that, “At the individual and community levels, stranded migrants returning to Nigeria often have limited access to income-generating activities and opportunities to integrate back into their communities and may opt for remigration or other negative coping mechanisms in order not to burden their families or communities.
“Reintegration prospects are further challenged by high levels of distress experienced in transit due to exposure to extreme violence, gender-based violence (GBV), torture, imprisonment in inhuman conditions, wounds and armed attacks, and lack of access to basic needs.
Meanwhile, Minster of Humanitarian Affair, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, was committed to the holding the human rights of migrants and the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Represented to the Director of Humanitarian Affairs, Ali Grema, thr Minister said: “Nigeria remains committed to the realisation of the 2023 Agenda, Agenda 2063, and key principles outlined in the global Compass for safe, orderly and regular migration.
“Nigeria is also committed to upholding the human rights of migrants as enshrined in the universal declaration of human rights while also ensuring that the actions implemented in partnership with development actors consider the unique needs of Nigerian women, men, boys and girls, through whole-of-government and whole of society approaches.”