CSOs hail ECOWAS leaders for lifting ban on Mali, Burkina Faso Niger Republic

ECOWAS leaders during a summit in Abuja



Coalition of Civil Society Organizations under the auspices of the West Africa Coalition Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (WACTIPSOM) has commended the decision of Economic Community of West Africans States (ECOWAS) to lift the ban placed on Mali, the Republic of Niger and Burkina Faso respectively.

The group gave the commendation in a press statement jointly signed by Mr Abdulganiyu Abubakar, the National President NACTAL and Regional Representative of WACTIPSOM and Mr. Benjamin Okosun Obobor.

The duo recalled with bitterness that the ban had negatively affected their struggle on combating all forms of TIP.

“We commend the commitment of the ECOWAS Heads of Government for finally lifting the sanctions on Niger Republic, Mali and Burkina Faso”.

The duo, who stressed that they have enjoyed long standing collaboration between Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Niger Republic and Nigeria, particularly on case identification, management and referral of Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants, Abdulganiyu and Okoson assured that they will continue collaboration to identify, manage and provide protection for victims of Human Trafficking.

Recalling how the overthrow of the democratically elected government in Niger Republic and other ECOWAS countries forced some partners to withdraw funding and support from their interventions, they were able to weather the storm through NACTAL Nigeria and CSOs in Niger Republic and continued to identify, support and manage cases with survivors continuously provided protection by organizations across borders.

They also divulged that, lCSOs from both countries have benefited from different interventions like the Nigeria/Niger Republic joint Initiative Against Human Trafficking, the Combatting Against Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants between Nigeria and Niger Republic (CATS) Project and the West Africa Network for the Protection of Children (WAN) a sub-regional mechanism that has been adopted by ECOWAS Commission as a Child Protection instrument and many others.

While calling for more support by stakeholders on the flight against human trafficking, Abdulganiyu and Okoson appreciated the European Union (EU), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP) A-TIPSOM, Palladium Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE), Expertise France, and the Government of Netherlands, the Government of the United States through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of the United Kingdom, International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) and all other partners who have been supporting interventions across the sub-region.


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