Focus on: INSigHT - Building capacity to deal with human trafficking and transit routes in Nigeria, Italy, Sweden

Human trafficking continues to be a challenge in the EU today, requiring action at policy level and appropriate practical responses. The INSigHT Action aims to address this issue by linking three strategic geographic areas along major irregular migration routes between Africa and Europe.

The multi-stakeholder initiative between Italy, Nigeria and Sweden is dedicated to combatting human trafficking not only from Africa to Europe, but also on secondary transit routes within Europe. Published data on migrant and refugee arrivals shows that Italy has not only been a key country of destination, but also an important transit country in the past few years. In this light, the Action works as a public policy laboratory, with ethnographic action-research methods as backbones to inform and train local policymakers and other key stakeholders on emerging trends and challenges. INSigHT kicked off in April 2019 for a duration of 17 months.

The Action’s research component seeks to shed light on the secondary movements of Nigerian non-adult female victims of trafficking from Italy to Sweden, but also to better understand the connections between human trafficking and the involvement of Nigerian males in activities such as begging and drug dealing in urban public spaces in Italy. Building on research findings, INSigHT is designing and implementing capacity building and awareness-raising schemes targeting relevant strategic stakeholders, particularly law enforcement officers. 

Two of the five working phases of the Action have been completed so far. In the context of the inception phase, gap analysis workshops took place in Brussels and Benin City to map the complex existing operational landscape of projects seeking to address the issue of human trafficking in the region. Subsequently, a report was produced by a multinational research team located at the University IUAV in Venice: an important measure is ensuring that INSigHT fills strategic gaps in the field, one of which being awareness-raising with returnee victims of trafficking to Nigeria. 

Following the gap analysis and efforts to promote networking within and beyond the Action, the next steps will be dedicated to a range of activities. The research team is conducting in-depth qualitative interviews and participant observation with outreach, evaluation and rehabilitation units, and within inclusion projects, with the goal of promoting and strengthening evidence-based policies and practices for stakeholders in all three countries. Other ongoing activities include capacity building in migrant protection, rehabilitation and law enforcement in both Italy and Nigeria through participative workshops, awareness-raising with a particular focus on changing the narrative around returnee victims of trafficking and migrant stereotypes, as well as good practices in sharing reinforced transnational cooperation.

If you wish to find out more about INSigHT, please visit the Action website on  .