BY ANKELI EMMANUEL, Sokoto
No fewer than 530 persons have so far been convicted in Nigeria on issues of human trafficking, Mr Nduka Nwawenne has said.
Nduka, who is the Commander, Benin Zonal Command of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons’ (NAPTIP) made the disclosure in his welcome remark at the ongoing 3 day workshop in Edo State organized by NACTAL.
While noting that majority of those convicted were for sexual exploitation, Nduka said, the rest were for various other offences that falls within the confines of trafficking.
The Benin Zonal Commander of NAPTIP further clarified that human traffikcing is a criminal case against government, adding, prostitution is not human trafficking rather the exploitation involved.
Nduka therefore defined exploitation to include exploiting someone for prostitution in the forms of sexual, deprivation of the offsprings of a person, fixed labour or services, practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
“”No country is immune to human trafficking. Though, it could be endemic in some parts and states more than the other.
“”The first convict of human trafficking in Nigeria was sentenced in 2004 by Justice Constance Momoh, the then Chief Judge of Edo State.
“”And since then, the fight against trafficking continues with 63 convicted in November, 2022 being the highest number recorded so far”.
Mr Nduka listed causes of trafficking to include but not limited to poverty, illiteracy and ignorance, demand for cheap labour, increasing demand for sex workers, low wages, economic hardship, lack of opportunities at home, lack of good social security measures, parental pressure, peer groups influence, positive economic status abroad, political and social instability, globalization as well as get rich quick scheme.
He also appealed to all and sundry to note that they are important in the fight against trafficking in persons
The 3 day training was organized by Network of Civil Society Organizations Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL) with support from United States Agency for International Development and Nigeria Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (USAID-SCALE) Project for
media practitioners drawn from States of Benue, Edo, Enugu, Borno, Lagos, Taraba, Cross River and Sokoto respectively.
Speaking earlier in his opening remarks, the National President of NACTAL, Abdulganiyu Abubakar admitted that the media is critical in the fight against trafficking in persons (TIP)
He further noted that, the theme of the training, “Improving Coordination and Implementation Capacity of CSOs On Controling Trafficking In Person (CTIP) in Nigeria”.
Abdulganiyu also divulged that NACTAL have trained over 200 agencies ranging from security personnel and others on why they should be critical stakeholders and unrelenting advocates of endingTIP.
On his part, the National Secretary of NACTAL, Mr Osita Osemene also disclosed that traffickers
mostly depends on the peculiarity of the regions involved.
Giving overview and objective of the training, Mr Olayemi Samuel, NACTAL Project Manager, Nigeria said the training will amongst others increase media practitioners knowledge on the menace and intensify public awareness campaigns against TIP.
Other objective also include, helping to strengthen the capacity of media practitioners on developing useful contents, reporting, and fostering synergy among themselves to help become advocates against TIP.
Mr Olayemi further noted that NACTAL has been able to conduct a baseline report on knowledge and capacities of frontline actors, training manual, service providers directory, stakeholders and coordination protocol.
“”NACTAL having presence in all the 36 States of the federation and Federal Capital, Abuja, has 8 States as its target for the the TIP project”” he stressed.
Mr Nduka Nwawenne, NAPTIP Commander, Benin Zonal Command making presentation on, “Understanding Basic Concepts In Trafficking In Persons, Root Causes, Emerging Trends and Effects of TIP”.