Human Trafficking: Agency Makes Fresh Commitments To Protect Victims, Prosecute Perpetrators

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in Abuja reiterated its commitment to protect human trafficking victims, and prosecute perpetrators of the crime.

Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, the Director-General, NAPTIP, disclosed this at the 2022 European Union (EU) Anti-Trafficking Day, organised by Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policy (FIIAPP).

Waziri-Azi, who was represented by a Deputy Director, Public Enlightenment unit of the agency, Mr Ganiyu Agaran, said the agency would ensure that human trafficking victims were protected from fraudsters.

She said perpetrators would also be prosecuted, adding that government would ensure that victims were properly reintegrated, rehabilitated with their needs taken care of.

According to her, ever since the ratification of the transnational organised crime convention, with its three attached protocols on trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants and illicit manufacturing and trafficking of firearms, the country had been on its feet.

“The fight against human trafficking in Nigeria has taken a very positive dimension; the country has since been at the forefront of tackling human trafficking and irregular migration in Africa.

Waziri-Azi said human trafficking and irregular migration were age-long global pandemic that posed serious risks with viral consequences that fueled other crimes like drug trafficking and even money laundering.

She said innocent women and children representing the future of any society, were the major victims of human trafficking, “but this heinous crime deprives them of their freedom and dignity’’.

The EU team leader in Nigeria, Mr Reuben Alba, called for mobilisation of more resources to tackle the crime of human trafficking and irregular migration in Nigeria.

He said that record showed that there were 21 million out-of-school children in Nigeria, and that nine million of them were vulnerable victims of human trafficking.

Alba said that crime against humanity was about selling people, and that this had destroyed what many have laboured for.

He said that stakeholders must continue to track down those eager to make profit from the crime of selling their fellow human beings.

Mr Jose-Antonio Nsang, the FIIAPP Institutional Coordinator, said his organisaion would continue to support NAPTIP and other civil society organisations with capacity building to do their job better.

According to him, human trafficking criminals are everywhere, and that law enforcement agencies must employ technology devices to do their work in the fight against human trafficking.

He said that the programme marking the 2022 EU Anti-Trafficking day was a call to remind all organisations working against crime against humanity of their responsibilities.

Mr Osita Osemene, Head of Programme and National Secretary, Network of All Civil Society against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL), said that EU had done well in ensuring that prevention on issues of human trafficking was achieved to a great extent in Nigeria.

According to him, EU is organising the day’s event to ensure that partners scale up their voices against the scourge, and to ensure they all come together in form of collaboration.

He disclosed that NACTAL was carrying out sensitisation Programmes throughout the states in Nigeria to commemorate the EU Anti-Trafficking day.

“The awareness is high, we are trying to measure up with what the traffickers are doing, and we are trying to build a system that will be proactive.

“We are trying to create a structure that will enable us win the war,” he said.

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