DIRECTOR General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Julie Okah-Donli, has warned the public about the new operation of traffickers, saying they now explore orphanage homes as well as motor parks for their victims.
Okah-Donli said beyond the two new tricks, the perpetrators of human trafficking also engages vessel operators at different watersides across the nation.
Speaking during an interactive session with the Edo State Task Force, Benin City, she raised alarm on the upsurge of human trafficking, especially about the new tricks, despite efforts of the agency.
“You must beam your searchlight on transporters. Go to the motor parks because this is where they take these girls from. Then you go to the waterside, they take the boats too.
“By the time you seize one bus, prosecute the bus owner, prosecute the driver, trust me they will stop carrying people.
“The traffickers are not waiting for us, they are always on the move and they are very fast, so we must be ahead of them at all times. Then you also have to look at orphanages.
“There’s a lot of orphanage trafficking going on but a lot of people don’t know,” says Julie Okah-Donli, DG NAPTIP.
Latest United Nations Report on Human Trafficking, published last month revealed that, based on data gathered from 155 countries, 79 percent of those trafficked are used for sexual exploitation. In West Africa, especially in Nigeria, the report identified children as most victims.
In the report, Nigeria recorded 2, 238 victims of human trafficking between 2005 to September 2008.
Incidentally, forced labour annually generate $150 billion as profits to the perpetrators globally, $99 billion, from commercial sexual exploitation, another $ 51 billion resulted from forced economic exploitation, including domestic work, agriculture, and other economic activities.
Some Nigerians abroad have reportedly suffered various inhumane treatments especially those trafficked for sexual exploitation. A good instance was the 2,000 girls reported to have been stranded in Mali, and other nations.
However, NAPTIP urged all stakeholders to remain vigilant as they go about their normal activities. The agency also dismissed believes that only underage girls can be victims of trafficking.
“Human trafficking is not about underage girls so when you talk about underage girls, you miss the point.
“I can be trafficked; a 50-year-old woman can be trafficked. Anybody can be trafficked so it’s not about underage girls. Even boys can be trafficked as well”.
In his remarks, Yinka Omorogbe, Chairman of the Edo State Task Force, identified the need for partnerships to address the menace.