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NAPTIP begins rehabilitation of human trafficking victims from Libya


State officials screen 150 migrants from Libya at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos, on December 5, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) have concluded arrangement to rehabilitate the victims of human trafficking that returned to the country recently.

The Director General of the Agency, Julie Okah-Donli, explained in Abuja that the welfare of the returnees especially the victims of human trafficking amongst them would be prioritized.

Her words: “Our intension is to work with other stakeholders to ensure that the directives of Mr. President concerning their rehabilitation are carried out. For this reason, I wish to appeal to States that are already mounting pressure on the operations in Port Harcourt to take away their indigenes to ensure that those they are taking away are properly rehabilitated as releasing them into the streets without rehabilitation and other assistance may spell dome for the country and damage the image of the country. Many of these people are coming straight from prisons and will require some debriefing and change of mind-set and orientation before being released into the society.”


NAPTIP insisted that any state government that is interested in the rehabilitation and reunification of the returnees from their states must meet the minimum standards for sheltering, rehabilitation and reunification of victims.

Okah-Donli hinted that it is a thing of worry that despite the huge resources at the disposal of Nigeria as a country and the vigour NAPTIP and other stakeholders in the fight against human trafficking and irregular migration have expended, Nigerians still engage in the perilous journeys into the unknown.
She informed that as part of NAPTIP plans to prevent the mass movement of Nigerians out of the country through dangerous routes, the agency would raise the ante in its public enlightenment programmes.

She added: “We are already engaging various stakeholders to join us with their resources in awareness creation. Our officers will continue to move further into the hinterlands, the streets and other public places to educate members of the public on the ills of human trafficking and irregular migrations. We also intend to use some of the returnees as advocates in our engagement with the public, especially in rural communities. We believe that when people hear the ugly experiences directly from those that have gone through that path, they will have a rethink.”

She said human trafficking is a global phenomenon of serious concern and requires collective efforts in order to combat it because of the attendant casualties and other negative effects that characterize the migration aspect of trafficking.

Over 5000 Nigerians already located in different detention camps in Libya, 972 in two batches of 485 and 487 have already returned.

Out of those that have returned so far, Edo State has 533 returnees, followed by Delta State with 128. Yobe State is next with 28, while Imo State and Ogun States have 25 each.

Ondo State has 17 and Oyo has 15. 27 State have their indigenes so far returned while 9 States and the Federal Capital Territory have not yet recorded any returnees. The States are: Bornu, Adamawa, Gombe, Taraba, Bauchi, Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara and Niger.

Nine pregnant ladies and 5 babies were also among the returnees. Two suspected traffickers were also arrested and under investigation. A female returnee who was also identified as a trafficker has been transferred to NAPTIP Lagos Zonal Command for further investigation.

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