Press Releases

ECOWAS Member States Experts Alerts on the Increasing Impact of the Growing Trend of Cyber-related Trafficking in Persons in the Region.

14 Feb, 2022

Niamey, Niger, February 1 -3, 2022. The ECOWAS Regional Network of National Focal Institutions Against Trafficking in Persons Plus (RNNI-TIP+) recommends ECOWAS intervenes in coordinating efforts for deeper investigation and response to address the growing Cyber-related human trafficking trend observed in some parts of the Region. The Group urges relevant ECOWAS Departments, GIABA, Member States and Partners to convene Investigative and Analytical Casework Sessions focused on emerging TIP trends. This is coming at the end of the 14th/2021 Annual Review Meeting of the Regional Network held in Niamey, Republic of Niger.


The Director, Humanitarian and Social Affairs, Dr. Sintiki Tarfa Ugbe, in her Welcome Address delivered by Hajiya Raheemat Momodu, Head of Human Security and Civil Society Division expressed ECOWAS’ delight at the commitment of the Member States to combating Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and related crimes towards strengthening the protection web around the individual.  She used the opportunity to inform participants of the ongoing In-country High Level Advocacy, Coordination and Capacity Building of Multi-Stakeholders on Protection and Human Security by the Department of Social Affairs and Gender, which had already taken place in The Gambia, Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso in 2021. She added that the plan is to implement the activity in 10 (ten) Member States in the year 2022, with the main purpose of promoting and institutionalising a whole of Government and Society approach to protection and human security. She acknowledged the collaboration between the ECOWAS Commission and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and appreciated the support of the OCWAR-T Project for the organisation of the Annual Review Meeting.


In her Goodwill Message delivered virtually, the ICMPD Head of Region, Dr. Mojisola Sodeinde, stated that migration is about people and that her Organisation is committed to improving the benefits of migration for the development of the region. She stated that the Annual Review Meeting organised by the ECOWAS Commission in close collaboration with the ICMPD stands out as a model. The EU Delegation in Niger, represented by Deputy Head of Delegation, Ms. Jamile EL ASSAIDI, called for accelerated development of Regional Instruments towards the protection of victims of human trafficking and the most vulnerable in the region.



In her Remarks, the ECOWAS Resident Representative in Niger, Her Excellency, Madam Liliane ALAPINI, stated that the focus on protection and human security has greater significance now, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. She maintained that related vulnerabilities and victimization such as Violence Against Children (VAC), Child Marriage, Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) are all consequential in tackling the subject of TIP plus in West Africa. Remarks from the Ministry of Justice, Niger was delivered by the Director General ANLTP, the TIP Focal Institution, Mr. Ousmane MAMANE; while that of the Coordinator, ECOWAS National Office in Niger was delivered by Mr. Ousmane Ali BOUKAR. Both speakers called for concerted efforts by all the stakeholders towards the eradication of human trafficking in the region and reiterated the commitment of the Republic of Niger in this regard.


The 3-day meeting featured presentations by Member States on the implementation of 2021 TIP Priorities and ECOWAS TIP 2018-2022 Plan of Action; as well as their 2022 Priorities, which showed progress in the combat of TIP+ despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some recommendations proffered include deployment of modern technologies; change of orientation strategies, common sensitisation messaging especially when engaging with the youth population; and implementation of program on analysis of Member States Criminal Justice and Social Services Architecture towards the eradication of TIP Plus in the region.


Participants include representatives of ECOWAS Commission, Member States anti-TIP focal Institutions, Office of the ECOWAS Resident Representative in Niger, ECOWAS National Office in Niger, ICMPD, GIZ, International Social Service-West Africa, and other partners.


Member States