National Day of Mobilization Against Trafficking in Persons in Niger
Trafficking in persons is a complex reality in Niger. As a country that acts as a departure, transit, and destination point for trafficking victims, Niger must address the expansion of criminal networks, both domestically and internationally. Nigerien authorities have made the fight against this phenomenon a government priority and have set up a National Day of Mobilization against Trafficking in Persons, which is celebrated each year on 28 September.
This year marked the fourth edition of this day and had as its central theme: "Trafficking in children through begging, prostitution and forced labor". During this day, all actors working against trafficking in persons as well as technical and financial partners met in Maradi, near Niger's southern border.
Maradi is of fundamental importance for raising awareness against trafficking in persons. According to an analysis report developed by the Ministry of Planning and the Ministry of Justice on the behaviour, attitudes, and practices of the population in terms of trafficking in persons in Niger from November 2016, only 19.9% of the population of Maradi are aware of legislation penalizing trafficking in persons. Thus, many activities such as conferences, debates, and skits have helped raise awareness among the general public.
Mr. Assoumana Malam Issa, Minister of Cultural Renaissance, Arts, and Social Modernization opened this national mobilization day by delivering a speech on the priority of Nigerien authorities in the fight against transnational organized crime, especially trafficking in persons.
The Governor of the Maradi region, Mr. Zakari Oumarou, also explained that trafficking in persons, especially children, is a sad reality in Niger. In Maradi in particular, young girls are exploited in small businesses, forced begging, and housework. "Our duty," he continued, "is to prevent it."
The conference brought together more than 500 people with an estimated 200 women.
This activity contributes to the Regional Strategy against Trafficking in Human Beings and Migrant Smuggling (2015-2020) and the UNODC Regional Program for West Africa (2016-2020). The GLO.ACT project comprises 13 core countries and is a joint initiative of the European Union (EU) and UNODC, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The GLO.ACT project (2015-2019) is a global action to implement national strategic efforts to combat human trafficking and smuggling of migrants.