Andy Esiet, Calabar
The National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has raised alarm over the high level of human trafficking in the country as the agency has up to date rescued and sheltered, 17, 753 victims in Nigeria.
The Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, Benin Zonal Command, Barr. Nduka Nwanwanne who said this on yesterday, during a 3-day media training workshop on “Countering Trafficking In Persons, (CTIP), organized by Network Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Child Labour, (NACTAL) in collaboration with USAID in Benin, Edo state for journalists from nine eight states of the federation including Abuja, stated that out of the figure, 13,626 are female while 4,727 were males. This figures are as at May 2022.
Worried about the alarming rate of human trafficking, he said that “not fewer than 25,000 Nigerian women and girls are trapped living in shanties in the mining areas in Mali where they are sexually exploited” .
He said “human trafficking is endemic in Edo and Delta states and all parts of the country are affected ” as he urged states in Nigeria to take steps to domesticate the various laws against human trafficking.
According to him the trade on human trafficking is worth 150 billion dollars in global criminal enterprise and it is the second largest in trans national organized crime after drug trafficking.
In view of this, Nwanwnene charged stakeholders in the media industry to intensify awareness and sensitization of the public against trafficking in persons lamenting that despite the huge sensitization and awareness created by government and media agencies against human trafficking, majority of young people are still not informed about the risks and dangers involved.
He urged young people especially girls to be patient, stay home, go to school and develop themselves saying it is the duty of their parents to cater for the children at young age.
He identified poverty, illiteracy/ignorance, economic hardship, lack of opportunities at home, parental pressures among others, as root causes, he noted that the risk; loss of life, health risks, emotional and psychological breakdown, unwanted pregnancy, among others, outweighs the benefits.
Nwanwanne who took journalists on several topic such as “Understanding basic concepts in trafficking in persons, root causes, emerging trends, effects of TIP” as well as “Identification of TIP victims, potential victims and traffickers,” among others, urged them to expose cases of sexual exploitation, forced labour, baby sales and cases of of trafficking in the society and expose the traffickers to rid the country of the menace.
On his part, the National President, Network Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Child Labour,(NACTAL), Abdulganiyu Abubakar said the media has been a key player in the fight against trafficking in persons especially in sensitizing the public on the dangers of trafficking, tactics adopted by traffickers and extant laws that prohibit trafficking in persons, hence it has become pertinent to train them and improve their capacity.
The Project Manager, NACTAL, Mr. Samuel Olayemi listed the objectives of the workshop to include, to increase knowledge of media practitioners on CTIP, intensify media campaigns, strengthen capacity of media practitioners and improve knowledge of participants in developing relevant programmes.