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NAPTIP, women affairs ministry to rehabilitate human trafficking survivors

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs have signed a deal to rehabilitate victims of human trafficking.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the agreement was reached in Abuja on Monday, during a visit by the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, to NAPTIP Headquarters.

NAN also reports that the rehabilitation deal will kickstart with the 10 Nigerian girls recently trafficked to Ghana for sexual exploitation. The girls were later rescued.

NAPTIP’s Director-General, Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi, thanked Kennedy-Ohanenye for the visit and her support toward sustaining the fight against human trafficking.

Waziri-Azi said that the agency was proactive in carrying out its mandates and had successfully convicted 29 human traffickers this year.

She said that the agency had successfully convicted 670 human traffickers since its inception, and rescued 23,000 victims.

According to her, NAPTIP is in touch with the Ghanaian Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, adding that Nigerian girls trafficked to Ghana had been rescued and are safe.

“The perpetrator has been arrested and I am also in contact with Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM). We are delighted by the visit of the minister this morning.

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“From our conversation with Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, we will definitely approach this issue in a more strategic way in terms of prevention, because prevention is better than cure.

“I also want to emphasise to parents and young people that there is no free lunch anywhere, if it is free, then you are definitely the product.

“We know that everyone desires a better life, but wanting a better life does not mean you should not be discerning.

“When somebody comes and offers you Eldorado, please ask questions,” she said.

On her part, Kennedy-Ohanenye commended NAPTIP for its visible impact in tackling human trafficking in Nigeria, and promised to work with the agency for sustained rehabilitation of trafficked victims.

She said that the ministry would be assisting NAPTIP with the existing empowerment scheme that had been established by the ministry.

“I came here to see my sister concerning the issue of the Nigerian girls trafficked to Ghana. We will join hands with NAPTIP to empower them, give them skills or send them to school,” the minister said.

She also disclosed plans to embark on massive advocacy on issues of human trafficking among diverse stakeholders, including operators of commercial transport.

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“People in the aviation sector, marine sector and a cross-section of parents across the country will also be reached,” she said.

Kennedy-Ohanenye said that parents and transport operators would be held responsible if found culpable in the trafficking of children.

She solicited the support and cooperation of all Nigerians in tackling human trafficking in the country. (NAN)

Aderogba George
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