The efforts of the Nigerian Government in the fight against Human Trafficking and ensuring adequate protection for victims has received global recognition as the United Nations General Assembly has appointed the Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Dame Julie Okah – Donli, as a member of the Board of trustees for UNODC-managed United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.
The appointment is on the ad-hoc and non-remunerated basis.
Specifically, Dame Julie Okah -Donli whose appointment was announced by the United Nations Secretary-General alongside other eminent persons from Philippines, Armenia, Belgium and Panama, has been given the assignment of managing the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund, which pools resources from international donors for the protection and assistance to victims with full respect for their human rights.
This latest international appointment comes on the heels of a similar honour in July 2019 by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which also appointed Dame Julie Okah-Donli as a member of the Project Advisory Committee on Empowering Young People in Africa through Media and Communication on Irregular Migration.
A statement from the UN Organ stated that” The General Assembly, established the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, to provide humanitarian, legal and financial aid to victims of trafficking in persons.
“As determined by the General Assembly, the Board is composed of five experts with relevant experience in the field of trafficking in persons who are appointed on the basis of fair equitable geographical distribution, in consultation with the Member States and the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).”
Other members on the UN assignment are Ms Maria Susana V. Ople, Director of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, Philippines;, Dr. Viktoria Avakova, Health and Anti-trafficking project coordinator at UMCOR-NGO, Armenia;, Ms. Inge Vervotte, former Belgian Minister for Civil Service and Public Enterprises, Belgium; and Mr. Alexis Bethancourt Yau, Panamanian Minister of Public Security, Panama.
“The five new members will serve a three-year term and provide strategic advice to the UNODC Trust Fund Secretariat in the management of the Fund.
“Since its inception 10 years ago, the UN Voluntary Trust Fund has awarded 4.6 million USD in grants to almost 90 NGO projects, directly assisting more than 3,500 victims of human trafficking per year, from around the world”, the statement announcing the appointment said.
Dame Julie Okah – Donli has continued to give Nigeria positive visibility across the world as a champion and advocate of child protection and Trafficking free world thereby earning numerous awards and honours globally.
Reacting to this development, the NAPTIP boss expressed happiness over the appointment saying that it came to her as a pleasant surprise.
” I am overwhelmed by this appointment. I want to sincerely thank the President and Commander -in – Chief, Muhammadu Buhari for his firm support to NAPTIP and the institutional policies put in place to support the Agency. I also appreciate the support of my Supervising Minister, the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiq Umar Farouq and also Directors and Officers of NAPTIP for their unflinching support and cooperation.
“I will surely do my best to rate Nigeria high in this global assignment”‘ the visibly elated NAPTIP DG said.
Press and Public Relations