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NAPTIP initiates fresh moves to curb forced labour

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Dame Julie Okah-Donli, Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

The effective implementation of the Child Right Act by key stakeholders would help tame child labour across the country, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has said. 

The Agency said it has commenced intensive and sustained advocacy within child protection stakeholders with a view to enhancing nationwide domestication and the effective implementation of the contents of the Act.

It said the advocacy includes interface with National Assembly, State Governors, State Houses of Assembly, the Judiciary, relevant professional bodies, diplomatic communities, the media, civil society organizations, international partners and other key stakeholders.

The Director-General of NAPTIP, Julie Okah–Donli, disclosed this in Abuja while speaking at an occasion to mark the 2018 World Day Against Child Abuse.

The awareness programme, which targeted some schools within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and all the Zonal Commands of NAPTIP, was in accordance with the spotlight for 2018 World Day Against Child Labour tagged ‘Eradicating Hazardous Child Labour’.

The NAPTIP boss said: “NAPTIP as a focal Agency created by the Federal Government for the protection of children from trafficking, child labour and abuse, has commenced purposeful advocacy across the country on the need to enhance the understanding and implementation of the Child right Act.

“It is sad to note that many individuals, organizations and even a group of people have continued to hide under one form of corporate protection or the other to abuse children.

I just received some concerned youths few hours ago and their testimonies about the level of child abuse and violation by some highly placed individuals was heart breaking. 

“It has come to the knowledge of the Agency that even some of our children who were believed to be protected under the custody of revered educational institutions are the worst victims. It was gathered that administrators of those schools have continued to feast on the innocent children at will.

“The worst scenario is the case of children rescued from some difficult environments due to insurgency who are further subjected to unimaginable level of sexual abuse and exploitation by the very personalities that have sworn to protect them.

“The big question that is begging for answer is why is it that when there is a global economic recession and financial crunch, it is the child that is given out to work as domestic helpers and in hazardous places and he or she bears the brunt?

Why is it that when there is a sexual desire within the family, it is the child that is sacrificed? This must change.  

“NAPTIP has commenced a nationwide advocacy to drum up massive support for the accelerated implementation and domestication of Child Rights Act across the country. Already, we have kicked off consultations with stakeholders at all levels.

“Our operatives have been dispatched to those areas and establishments where the rights of Nigerian children are being taken for granted. These include those confined institutions, Quarries, Cocoa plantations and other areas.”

While calling on policy makers across the country to consider the plight of children when formatting policies, the Director–General called on children to always speak out when abused so that help can come their way speedily.


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