An anti-human trafficking group, Devatop Centre For Human Development has again called on the Nigerian government and people to do more to ensure that the menace of human trafficking in the country was brought to an end.
This was the thrust of a one-day workshop organized by the organization to train more than 30 volunteers from different professions on ways to combat human trafficking, female genital mutilation and rape.
Speaking at the workshop, the Executive Director of Devatop, Joseph Osuigwe, noted that human trafficking cuts across races, ethnic groups and religions, hence the need for combined efforts in order to curb the menace.
He noted that over 27 million women, girls, men, and boys are currently victims of human trafficking across the globe.
“They are bought and forced into prostitution, labour exploitation and child pornography,” Osuigwe said.
He went further: “For years, human trafficking has continued to thrive in the shadow and silence of others. 80% of the victims are young people between the ages of 6 and 24 years.
“Nigeria is a source, transit route and destination of people trafficked for sexual and labour exploitation.
“According to 2015 Slavery Index Report, there are over 875 500 victims in Nigeria,” the Devatop boss said.
Osuigwe told the volunteers that “the worst anyone can do is to keep silent about human trafficking.”
“There is an urgent need for more people to be in the forefront of combating human trafficking, and no one needs to wait until he is directly affected before speaking out against this evil,” he maintained.
The workshop was attended by officials of the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons, NAPTIP, who also shared tips on how to avoid falling victim to human traffickers.
Similarly, a legal practitioner, Ikenga Ngozi, who is also the chairperson of International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, Abuja branch, was also present at the event and spoke on the legal aspects of the anti-human trafficking campaign.
It should be noted that the United States Senate had designated January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month, dedicated to raising awareness on the need to bring the menace to an end.
Millions of Nigerian young people are vulnerable to human trafficking as a result of insurgency, community crisis, poverty, maltreatment at home, family crisis, and unemployment.
Devatop estimates that the volunteer-trainees will reach out to over 2000 people in their various communities and states within the next 3 months.