NAPTIP DG, Julie Okah-Donli

By Abankula

The Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Mrs Julie Okah-Donli has been appointed a member of the board of trustees for UNODC-managed United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons.

The appointment was her second by the UN in about a year.

Last year, she was appointed by UNESCO as a member of the project advisory committee on empowering young people in Africa through media and communication on irregular migrations.

The Trust Fund was created by the UN General Assembly for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, to provide humanitarian, legal and financial aid to victims of trafficking in persons.

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 Member States and the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Okah-Donli was appointed by the UN General Secretary, Antonio Guterres, alongside other eminent persons from Philippines, Armenia, Belgium and Panama.

The other members are:
*Ms. Maria Susana V. Ople, Director of the Blas F. Ople Policy Centre, 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;
* 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.

In a reaction, Okah-Donli described her appointment as a pleasant surprise.

“I am overwhelmed by this appointment, I want to sincerely thank the President 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, Hajia Sadiya Umar-Farouk, 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,” Okah-Donli said.