INSigHT: a research-action project to delve into the challenges posed by human trafficking from Nigeria to Italy and Sweden

INSIGHT ON THE CHALLENGES POSED BY HUMAN TRAFFICKING FROM NIGERIA TO ITALY AND SWEDEN

INSigHT has started operations in April 2019, as an action-research with a focus on the issue of trafficking in human beings from Nigeria, to Italy and Sweden.

THE PARTNERSHIP

The project is led by the UNESCO SSIIM Chair of the IUAV University of Venice in partnership with:

  • Nigerian Women Association – NWA (Verona, Lagos)
  • Cooperative Equality (Padua) and Cooperative Azalea (Verona), both part of the initiative N.a.VE Antitratta Network for Veneto)
  • NGO Pathfinders Justice Initiative, (New York / Benin City)
  • 2050 Association (Venice)

The Action’s mission is to increase the capacity of local stakeholders (in Veneto-Italy-, in Lagos and Benin City -Nigeria- and in Sweden), to manage the issue of human trafficking, promoting knowledge-based policies and practices in the respective countries and strengthening transnational cooperation.

INSigHT, in its 18 months of cooperation, intends to create new knowledge on the human trafficking phenomena by analyzing new emerging trends on the trajectories of return to Nigeria and the associated risk of re-trafficking, as well as on begging in Veneto. It will assess the effectiveness of prevention, protection and rehabilitation systems in the countries involved in the action, with particular attention to minor girls. At the same time, awareness campaigns in Nigeria and training for local police forces in Italy and Nigeria and cultural mediators in Italy will be carried out.

INSigHT is funded by the Directorate General for Migration and Internal Affairs of the European Commission (DG Home) through the Mobility Partnership Facility which is managed by the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).

WHAT DO WE DO:

EXCHANGE OF EXPERIENCES TO GET TO KNOW ONE ANOTHER

The INSigHT team met in Brussels to start the activities, while in Benin City the first analysis was carried out to identify stakeholders’ knowledge and operational gaps, to present project activities and initiate important opportunities for exchange on respective experiences and approaches, as well as discussing possible synergies. These activities allowed the team to build a first mapping of awareness raising activities and projects already underway in Edo State, Nigeria.

PRODUCTION OF NEW KNOWLEDGE

The team of researchers of the UNESCO SSIIM Chair of the IUAV University of Venice (which includes three researchers in Italy, one in Sweden and one in Nigeria) conducts ethnographic research and critical analysis on the systems of prevention, protection and rehabilitation of victims of trafficking in Veneto and Nigeria (in Edo State and Lagos), with a specific focus on the needs of underage Nigerian girls who are victims of trafficking. Specific investigations will also be carried out on emerging and little explored dynamics, such as the involvement of Nigerian men in begging in the Venetian territory and the phenomenon of transit along the Brenner route, on the border with Austria, towards the countries of Northern Europe, in particular Sweden.

TRAINING AND CAPACITY- BUILDING OF STAKEHOLDERS

The Equality and Azalea cooperatives, as part of the NaVE project, have launched a series of participatory workshops on the theme of health and the prevention of sexual and labor exploitation to create an integrated model of anti-trafficking action in the Veneto region together with the main involved actors. They will also carry out training sessions aimed at cultural mediators and law enforcement agencies, to encourage the strengthening of specific skills, an update on emerging social dynamics and an exchange of experiences between various local subjects.

At the same time, in Nigeria (Edo State) the NGO Pathfinders Justice Initiative will organize moments of training and discussion for law enforcement and for those active in the return projects of women victims of trafficking. The training will include specific seminars for both Leading Officials and Regional Heads, and for the Police Academy teachers, so as to be able to strengthen instruments that favor continuous training on the issue of trafficking.

THE IMPORTANCE OF WIDESPREAD AWARENESS ON THE ISSUE

The Nigerian Women Association will implement a series of awareness raising actions in Nigeria, first by opening an information desk in Lagos that works with social workers and teachers from the local training institute for social workers. The objective is to create and reinforce synergies, also at institutional level, to increase the effectiveness of awareness-raising campaigns on trafficking and on the risk of relapse for victims returned to the country of origin. With the active involvement of teachers, interventions will also be carried out in schools in the cities of Lagos and Enugu. Finally, during the summer school break, an itinerant awareness-raising campaign will be conducted to reach out to smaller rural towns.