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Tackling human trafficking – The Sun Nigeria


The disclosure by the Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of (NAPTIP), Fatima Waziri-Azi, that over 20,000 Nigerian women and girls are currently stranded in mining areas in Mali, shows that human trafficking is still on the rise. Waziri-Azi, who made the revelation, pointed out that the majority of the victims were being exploited sexually and made to live under unimaginable conditions. Apart from Mali, Nigerians are also reportedly stranded in other West African countries on account of trafficking. According to the NAPTIP, most of the trafficked persons engage in prostitution for a fee that is usually collected by their sponsors.

The trafficking-in-persons (TIP) can be regarded as modern slavery. Therefore, government and relevant agencies must do something urgently to tackle the menace. Reports from the Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) show that about 750,000 to one million persons are trafficked annually in Nigeria and that over 75 per cent of those trafficked are trafficked across the states, 23 per cent are trafficked within states while two per cent are trafficked outside the country.  In the same vein, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) puts the figure at 1.4 million. These are likely to be conservative estimates as many victims are reportedly not documented.

The rise in human trafficking in the country has made Nigeria to be classified as a source, transit and destination country in TIP. Human trafficking is another dent on the image of the country abroad. Women and children are the most vulnerable groups trafficked internally and externally for economic and sexual exploitation, such as prostitution, forced labour, domestic servitude, alms begging, drug trade, child soldier, forced marriage and organ transplant. Internally, women and children are trafficked from rural communities to urban centres for exploitation.

According to the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute and (UNICRI/UNODC) pilot project, majority of trafficked persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation are young women and minors from certain states in the South-South and North- Central regions.

Although many of the victims are trafficked to some parts of the world, most of them end up in Europe and Asia, with Italy as the most prominent destination. Unscrupulous persons, who engage in human trafficking, have made it a cartel, such that it has assumed a multi-billion dollar business. Prospective victims are lured with attractive travel proposals and foreign job offers. Parents and families are equally complicit in the racket. The growing menace can also be fueled by poverty, crime, violence, and limited work opportunities at home.

It is good that NAPTIP is doing a lot to curb the menace. The disclosure by the agency that close to 18,000 victims of trafficking have been rescued and rehabilitated is encouraging.  It is also commendable that NAPTIP has sponsored the education of about 13 victims in the universities. The agency has convicted not less than 516 persons involved in human trafficking.

Despite the commendable efforts by NAPTIP, there is still need to do more. It is sad that after 23 years of unbroken democracy, Nigerians are still being forced to leave the country in droves for other countries where they are subjected to slavery. Government should map out measures to address the drivers of human trafficking. There is need to reduce the figure. Nigerian Embassies and High Commissions should assist NAPTIP in the fight against human trafficking.

Let them liaise with relevant agencies in their countries of assignment to drastically reduce the menace.  The federal and state governments have much to do in tackling human trafficking. For instance, they should sensitise the public on the evils of the inhuman trade. There is need to activate relevant laws to check the illegal trade. Most importantly, the government must evolve new strategies to create more jobs.

If the youths are gainfully employed, they cannot fall to the antics of mischievous persons pretending to link them with enticing jobs abroad. We call on those involved in human trafficking to desist from the ignoble trade.

 

EYES ON TRAFFICKING

This “Eyes on Trafficking” story is reprinted from its original location.

Human Trafficking training course: Human Trafficking Essentials Online Certificate Human Trafficking Course
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ABOUT PBJ LEARNING

PBJ Learning is a leading provider of online human trafficking training, focusing on and prevention education. Their interactive Human Trafficking Essentials is used worldwide to educate professionals and individuals how to recognize human trafficking and how to respond to potential victims. Learn on any web browser (even your mobile phone) at any time.

More stories like this can be found in your PBJ Learning Knowledge Vault.

 

EYES ON TRAFFICKING

This “Eyes on Trafficking” story is reprinted from its original online location.

ABOUT PBJ LEARNING

PBJ Learning is a leading provider of online human trafficking training, focusing on awareness and prevention education. Their interactive Human Trafficking Essentials online course is used worldwide to educate professionals and individuals how to recognize human trafficking and how to respond to potential victims. Learn on any web browser (even your mobile phone) at any time.

More stories like this can be found in your PBJ Learning Knowledge Vault.