Sustainable Measures Against Trafficking in Persons also known as the SMAT-P project was an initiative of the Italian Bishop Conference awarded to Caritas Nigeria for three years (October 2018 - March 2021), and implemented in partnership with local church partners namely diocesan JDPCs (Justice Development and Peace Commissions) in in Benin, Uromi, Auchi, Isselle Uku and Ogoja.
The project was implemented in 10 LGAs namely: Essan Central and Essan South East, Etsako West, Owan East, Orhionmwon, Ikpoba- Okha (in Edo State); Ika North East, Ika South (in Delta State); and Bekwara and Yala (Cross River State).
The primary objective of the project is to support persons who are vulnerable to Human Trafficking through its project’s components namely:
- Prevention of Human Trafficking and Irregular Migration through awareness-creation in the targeted communities;
- Provision of Educational supports for the most vulnerable through sponsoring of pupil’s school fees, levies, uniforms, school bags, and sandals;
- Formation of Anti-trafficking clubs in Secondary Schools in the targeted locations to establish champions of Anti-Human Trafficking.
- Introduction of Saving and Internal Lending Community (SILC) Scheme to beneficiaries as a long term livelihood support;
- Psychological First Aid to help heal the trauma of the returnee migrants; and,
- Empowerment of youth with skills in various trades like ICT/hardware repairs, soap-making, welding, fashion design, hairdressing, Shoe-making, cosmetology, tiling, and catering.
50 community mobilizers and 10 frontline advocate in the targeted locations were trained and awareness created in over 500 schools and 13 victim Support Groups formed.
About 200 vulnerable Households (HHs) were economically strengthened with the distribution of 50,000 naira grant each and the formation of 43 savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) groups across project locations.
Educational support to 532 vulnerable persons, Vocational training was also offered to 150 youths with relevant start-up items across the 17 different skills trained in. Scholarship grants of #200,000 was offered to 39 students in the tertiary institutions across the targeted locations.
Re-integration of 100 victims 0f trafficking and street children, counselling, and formation of victim support groups.
The SMAT-P project adopted the following strategies:
- Stakeholders’ sensitization, mobilization, and engagement;
- Conduct of baseline survey for target beneficiaries
- Engagement and training of community mobilizers/frontline advocates
- Awareness creation campaigns in Schools and Communities
- Education materials support
- Formation of Victims support groups
- Formation of Anti-Human Trafficking Clubs
- Formation of Savings and internal lending Communities (SILC) groups
- Training in vocational skills and Distribution of start-up kits
- Grants to beneficiaries on Income Generating Activities
- Continuous project monitoring/advisory visits
The SMAT-P project officially came to an end in March, 2021.