The unwavering resolve of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to suppress and eliminate the scourge of trafficking in persons and child labour in Nigeria is fast yielding the desired outcomes.
According to the Director General of NAPTIP, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, the Agency since its inception in 2003 has secured no less than 500 convictions and a remarkable 18,000 victims rescued.
Waziri-Azi was speaking at a 3-day Capacity Workshop for Members of the Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Media Corps and Officers of Press and Public Relations Unit of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
The Training and Capacity Development Orientation Program is through the instrumentality of the Action against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (A-TIPSOM), funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), in Asaba, Delta State.
Represented by the Director for Public Enlightenment, Josiah Emerole , the NAPTIP Boss restated her commitment to not just liberate the Victims but also ensure their rehabilitation and effective reintegration into the society.
“No fewer than 516 traffickers have been convicted, 18,000 victims have been rescued and rehabilitated while 13 victims have been sponsored to the university. Three of the rescued victims now work with our agency.”
She explained that NAPTIP does not wage war against prostitution but rather empowered to stamp out all forms of sexual exploitation as is the case in Mali and other source, transit and destination countries.
“In Mali alone, no fewer than 20,000 young Nigerian men and women are trapped, living in shanties in the mining areas where they are sexually exploited.
“Many victims are still stranded in a number of West African countries as they cannot move further to Europe and are living in dangerous conditions,” she said.
In his opening remarks, the Senior Project Officer for A-TIPSOM, Mr Joseph Sanwo, said that the objective of the project was to reduce human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants.
He further underlined the commitment of A-TIPSOM to work collaboratively with all Stakeholders, just as he expressed optimism that Trafficking In Persons and Smuggling Of Migrants (TIPSOM) would soon be a distant memory.
Sanwo maintained that the project would leave nothing to chance towards ensuring that all avenues exploited by human traffickers in attracting the vulnerable are plugged.
For his part, the Press Officer, NAPTIP, Mr Adekoye Vincent extolled the Media as critical Stakeholders in the fight against Trafficking In Persons and Smuggling Of Migrants (TIPSOM), while also calling for an increased working relationship almed out stamping out the menace.
Human trafficking is the process of trapping people through the use of violence, deception or coercion and exploiting them for financial or personal gain.
It is one illegal business which rakes in an annual profit of not less than One Hundred and Fifty Billion Dollars ($150 Billion), only behind drug trafficking.
People trapped by traffickers are mostly trying to escape poverty or discrimination, improve their lives and support their families.
All Countries are involved in one way or the other either as Source, Transit or Destination.
Some Countries fall within the 3 categories. Majority of African Countries fall under the 3 categories and Nigeria is one of such.