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NAPTIP raises alarm over new trends used in human trafficking

Valentine Chinyem

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Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Dame Julie Okah, has raised an alarm over the emerging tricks and trends in human trafficking, which should be urgently addressed in order to protect the lives of Nigerians.

She warned Nigerians who respond to lofty job adverts to be careful of falling into the hands of organ traffickers.

Okah, who gave this warning on Wednesday during a media briefing to mark the 2019 World Day against human trafficking, warned that criminal gangs have devised means of achieving their dastardly acts through rolling out advertorials for the recruitment of unsuspecting Nigerians as drivers, nurses and maids as well as fake offers of scholarship and recruitment by non-existing football clubs in some of the notorious Middle East countries.

She said that NAPTIP in order to nip the situation in the bud is collaborating with various regulatory bodies like the International Air Transportation Association (IATA), National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA) and the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) to ensure that their members do not aid or abet human trafficking.

“As lofty and enticing as these vague offers may be on the face value, it is clear that these young promising Nigerians are targets of organ trafficking and eventual death in the process, labour exploitation and sex slavery. Many of them that have ignorantly responded to these invitations are going through hell, many have died and many may never be able to tell their story while the few lucky ones are still brooding over their bitter experiences.

“We also have similar plans to engage with officials of the embassies concerned, why serious efforts are being made to review legal provisions on labour recruitment which is presently domiciled with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and any door that opens for the indiscriminate recruitment of our citizens even in the face of terrible dangers in the destination countries, is repugnant and inconsistent with good conscience, and such should be reviewed.

“There is also the need for government to make human trafficking a priority by putting in more responses, resources, implementations legislations and advocacy as well as amendable fiscal appropriation to issues of human trafficking,” she added.

The director general who also lauded the Buhari administration for working tirelessly in support of the agency, said the 2019 United States Trafficking in Persons report which was released on June 20 by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo was a wakeup call for the agency to do more.

‘’Like I have said in several fora, we in NAPTIP are gratified but not satisfied that Nigeria was upgraded to Tier 2 from Tier 2 watch list which the country has occupied for two years.

“Also, the Chief of Mission, International Organization for Migration, Franz Celestin said that they will collaborate with United Nations agencies to address the root cause of vulnerability of would be trafficked persons.

“Together, UN agencies deliver as one, the prevention and protection, as well as addressing the root cause of vulnerability of trafficking through programming at the individual, household and family, community and structural levels.”

‘’The UN family is working closely with NAPTIP and other partners to protect, prevent, monitor and implement capacity building, training among others to support human trafficking,’’ Okah said.

 

Daily Times