By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna.
Human trafficking is the fastest growing organized crime in the world, netting about 40 Billion Dollars annaually, National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other Related Matters (NAPTIP) has revealed.
Global Slavery Index also showed that 29.8 million people are held in one form of slavery or the other out of which, Nigeria has 740,000 people along with nine other countries accounting for 76 percent of this global number.
Assistant Director, NAPTIP, Mrs. Ebele Ulasi made this known at a Town Hall Meeting in Kaduna, organized by an NGO, CLEEN FOUNDATION for agencies fighting corruption and transnational organized crime.
Mrs. Ulasi l the root linked causes of this menace to the breakdown of moral and cultural values including the increasing global demand for illicit sex and greed on the part of parents who easily fall prey to promises of monetary rewards and who see their children as their source of livelihood.
Other root causes, she said are ignorance, illiteracy and poverty, noting that half of the African countries are among the poorest in the world with population growth rates exceeding those of the economy.
Mrs. Ulasi noted that between 750,000 and 1,000,000 persons are trafficked annually in Nigeria, and that over 75 percent of those trafficked are across the states, 23 per cent within States, while 2 per cent are trafficked outside the country.
Trafficking in persons, she added, has become a common feature and endemic in 22 states of the federation, describing the situation as not only worrisome but unacceptable.
“The boys are used for other domestic services, forced to work on plantation/farmlands, quarries and engage in petty crimes,” she said.
“80 per cent of young women engaged in prostitution in Italy are Nigerians,” quoting the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).
Mrs. Ubasi expressed worry on various challenges being faced by the Agency in carrying out its duties, such as lack of co-operation from vulnerable communities who, due to ignorance believed that the traffickers were helping and should therefore be protected from NAPTIP.
Also, the Private Sector has not seen the need to make the fight against human trafficking part of their civic and social responsibility.
Similarly, the NAPTIP official said, the criminal justice system resulting in delay in criminal trials, options of fines, instead of imprisonment to deter others, was another cog in the wheel of their progress.
Human Trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world – NAPTIP
By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna.