Seven years after the re-enactment of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act 2015, there are continuing and serious gaps in the availability of direct assistance and support to identified victims of trafficking. Women, men, and children, whether subjected to transnational or national trafficking, regardless of the form of exploitation and the country where they were exploited, could not receive the well-needed support to recover, rebuild their lives and move on. This was owing partly to the non-activation of the Victim of Trafficking Trust Fund (VTTF) and Committee as stipulated under Section 67 and 68 of the Act.

Pursuant to the above, the USAID Nigeria SCALE-supported Action Against Trafficking in Persons (AATIP) Advocacy Cluster led by Justice Development and Peace Commission, Abuja has continued to sensitize and mobilize relevant stakeholders around key advocacy issues including the necessity for the activation of the VTTF and the trust fund committee. The cluster had, in an earlier engagement with the Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi, on May 13th, 2022, obtained her commitment to engage the Honorable Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Social Development and Disaster Management on the establishment of the VTTF Committee. These efforts have contributed to the approval of the VTTF Committee establishment by President Muhammadu Buhari in August 2022.

The VTTF Committee, subject to the provisions of the Act, shall administer and have general control over the management of the Victim of Trafficking Trust Fund – managing all the funds, including aids, grants, gifts, bequests, endowments, donations, or assistance accrued to the Fund; soliciting funds for the Trust Fund; and approving money from the Trust Fund for support of victims of trafficking based on criteria approved by the Committee. The AATIP cluster will continue to follow up and advocate with relevant stakeholders for the full operationalization of the fund and Committee.

The SCALE project is a United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded five-year project (2020-2025) designed to strengthen the financial, management, and advocacy capacity of CSOs in Nigeria to create a more accountable, transparent, peaceful, and democratic Nigeria with more effective and efficient public service delivery.