The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has taken their campaign against Human Trafficking and Child Abus, to some rural areas in Enugu State. The campaign was taken to Nkanu West Local Government Area during an August meeting hosted by the Wife of the Council Chairman, Mrs Ugochi Okere during which emphasis was on how sponsors deceive unsuspecting girls into traveling abroad for legitimate jobs whereas many of such young ladies are led into prostitution.
The Director-General of NAPTIP, Mrs. Julie Okah-Donli, stressed on the need to enlighten women and children in the rural area of the dangers involved in trafficking. The Zonal Commander of the agency, Mrs Comfort Agboko assured that the body will not relent in its effort to fight against child trafficking, child abuse, child labour and sales of babies perpetrated by traffickers in Enugu State.
Mrs Donli also educated the women on the tricks of the perpetrators, saying that it was needful to address the women in Nkanu West, adding that rural communities are most times the victims of trafficking. She noted that educating the women and children will go a long way in reducing, if not completely eradicating child labour, child abuse, child trafficking and sales of babies in the state.
According to her, change has to begin from the grassroots, adding that NAPTIP as an agency was established in 2003 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to fight against human trafficking in the country.
The zonal agency has since lived up to its expectations by handling more than 50 cases of human trafficking and has prosecuted the perpetrators since the zonal office was set up in 2006, she said.
NAPTIP has been very active in its fight against human trafficking. In world rating, Nigeria has dropped from tier one ranking to tier two in countries that fights human trafficking.
Edo State has the highest number of arrest even as the agency recently convicted a 47-year old woman for trafficking. It has also been estimated that 60-80% of sex workers in Italy are trafficked from the State. The workers, mostly women, are promised lucrative jobs and opportunities by the traffickers only to end up as slaves to them against their will.
The agency recently had a whistle blowing approval policy approved by the Federal Government which enable people report cases of trafficking to the agency and feel safe.
The Nigerian government enacted the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act in 2015. Punishment gives the option of imprisonment or payment of fine of between N50, 000 and N200,000 for different types of human trafficking offences.
One of the setbacks of NAPTIP is funding, the Director-General said recently that the Agency is in need of food, shelter, drugs and basic amenities for victims rescued from trafficking.