• Monday, July 22, 2024
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State govts embrace task force system to curb increasing rate of human trafficking

State govts embrace task force system to curb increasing rate of human trafficking

Twenty-three, out of thirty-six state governments have adopted the task force system (STFs) to address cases of human trafficking in Nigeria.

This is as Nigeria recorded a total of 11,531 cases as at July 2023, with over 600 persons convicted.

Trafficking in persons (TIP) which is a criminal offence is often carried out through activities including; procurement of persons for sexual exploitation, employment of a child as a domestic worker and inflicting grievous harm, sponsoring foreign travels which promote prostitution, child abuse among others.

“Human trafficking knows no boundaries, transcending geographical, cultural, and socio-economic divisions, said Fatima Waziri-Azi, director general of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

Waziri-Azi, who spoke at the launch of the ‘compendium of good practices of state task forces in combating trafficking in persons’ said that TIP is one of the greatest challenges Nigeria has encountered, adding that it inflicts unimaginable suffering upon countless individuals around the world.

According to her, human trafficking is a highly organized and intricate network of criminals operating within and across borders, which makes it difficult for any one entity to address effectively.

“And only through joint efforts can we dismantle these criminal networks and bring the perpetrators to justice. This battle requires a united front, one that encompasses government agencies, civil society organizations, law enforcement entities, faith-based organizations, the media and communities at the federal and state levels.

“human trafficking victims often face multiple challenges when seeking help and support. Collaborative efforts between government and NGOs can ensure that victims receive the necessary protection, and rehabilitation that they need. By working together, we can provide a safety net that helps survivors rebuild their lives and find hope for a brighter future.

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Speaking further, the DG stressed the need for strategic partnerships with traditional institutions due to their influence as custodians of cultural norms and values cannot be overstated.

According to the compendium, poverty, unemployment, inflation, abusive apprenticeship, ineffective policies, social media, and gender inequality among others, were common factors that exacerbated internal and external human trafficking in all states.

Similarly, the dominant purposes of trafficking as revealed by the compendium include domestic servitude, child labour/ abuse, child marriage, baby factory, sexual exploitation, illegal adoption, organ harvesting, and street begging.

States including Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Niger, Kogi, Osun, Bayelsa, Imo, Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Yobe and the FCT were yet to inaugurate a task force system.

Commenting on the compendium, the project coordinator, Human Trafficking & Migrant Smuggling Program of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Abimbola Adewumi said that the compendium would aid capacity building for STFs as well as showcase their milestones and achievements in combating human trafficking in Nigeria.

“Objective of the compendium includes to enhance state government interest and the drive for sustainable solutions, document the peculiarity and dimensions of human trafficking in the states to inform tailored interventions by project implementers,” she said.