DEVATOP Centre for Africa Development, a youth-led non-governmental organisation has pleaded state actors at all tiers of government to take action against human trafficking in Nigeria.
This was made known on Thursday at a world press conference organised by the Centre in commemoration of this year’s World Day Against Trafficking in Persons themed: “The Need for Political Will in Combating Human Trafficking”
The Executive Director of the Centre, Joseph Osuigwe said at the press briefing that human trafficking has continued to thrive in Nigeria due to lack of political will and commitment by political leaders. It is obvious that political leaders are uninterested in combating human trafficking in Nigeria, he said.
He stressed that political leaders and even those aspiring for political position in 2019 elections, are oblivious of epidemic nature of human trafficking, and its effect on the electorate. None of these political leaders or aspirants has shown that they have the political will and plans to combat human trafficking.
When asked about the red flags young people should be aware of in order to identify a situation involving human trafficking, Joseph said they should be aware that anyone coming to them with the opportunity to make money abroad and with the promise of a shortcut to get a visa is looking to traffic and exploit them.
In her contribution, founder of the Dorothy Njamnaze Foundation (DNF), Dorothy Njamnaze said youths must also be aware that anything that would involve them having to produce pubic hairs or swearing to oaths could be a sign of human trafficking.
“Anyone that wants to take you somewhere but wants you to keep it a secret from others may be a trafficker. Those who are being made to suffer under harsh conditions in households or suffering from domestic abuse are victims,” Njamanze said.
According to the 2018 Global Slavery Index report shows that estimated number of people living in modern slavery (also known as human trafficking) in Nigeria is 1,386,000 — the highest in Africa and among the top five in the world.
The ICIR’s independent search shows that of the 1.3 million people living in modern slavery or being trafficked in Nigeria, only 1,799 victims were rescued by the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
Edo state hasthe largest share of the victims as state of origin, with a total number of Three Hundred and Fifty Three (353) victims, representing 19.6 percent of the number, out of which Fifty Eight (58) were males and Two Hundred and Ninety Five (295) were females. It was followed by Delta and Benue states with One Hundred and Eighty Nine (189) and One Hundred and Eighteen (118) victims, respectively.