NAPTIP rescued 876 victims of forced labour in 2019
Court convicts 23
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP),said it rescued about 876 victims of human trafficking in the out-going year.
The Director General of the Agency, Julie Okah-Donli, who revealed this in Abuja, added that the Agency recorded 749 cases of human trafficking and forced labour-related issues, arrested 538 in connection with human trafficking, won 16 cases, while the court convicted 23 persons over violation of human dignity.
While stressing high premium attached to awareness creation and advocacy, she disclosed that NAPTIP was in Mali, to assess the exploitative conditions of Nigerian victims of human trafficking trapped in the mining areas of the country, profiling them, and working out modalities for evacuating them to Nigeria.
Okah-Donli also revealed that NAPTIP embarked on a large scale advocacy and sensitisation within the corridors of the regional neighbouring countries of Republic of Benin, and Togo.
She added: “The team also sensitised border communities, transporters in some of the notorious motor parks reputed for human trafficking as well as dialogue with law enforcement agents in Cotonou and Togo borders.”
She said NAPTIP research and programme development will continue to sum up and fine-tune detailed statistics that will reflect arrests, rescue, empowerment, prosecution and conviction by the Agency in the year 2019.
The Agency has also made concerted efforts towards lifting Nigeria’s global rating by migrating it from Tier 2 watch list to Tier 2 in the United States Trafficking in Persons rating in 2019.
Okah-Donli further disclosed that NAPTIP is presently collaborating with the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), and the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), to mainstream trafficking in persons issues into the minimum standards (curriculum) of Colleges of Education in Nigeria.
“As a follow up, no fewer than 400 teachers of Colleges of Education have been trained by personnel of the Agency and the NCCE on those issues and methodology to adopt in teaching them. It is important to note that these will be taught as a General Studies course in Colleges of Education from January 2020.
This activity is part of deepening awareness creating programme to ensure that children from cradle understand issues of human trafficking,” she explained.
The NAPTIP chief hinted that the Agency has established human trafficking desk in all the Internally Displaced Persons’ camps in the North-East to avoid further exploitation of victims.
She stated that counter trafficking sensitisation materials which was launched in the Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos will be replicated in other airports across the country to further boost awareness on the negative impacts of human trafficking and the early signs to look for while travelling abroad for work-related purposes.