NAPTIP secures 404 convictions, rescues 17,000 victims in 16 years

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JULIE Okah-Donli, Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in persons (NAPTIP), says the agency has prosecuted and secured conviction for 404 human traffickers in 16 years.

She disclosed this in Lagos on Tuesday at a two-day capacity building workshop for stakeholders in the aviation sector.

Okah-Donli said about 17,000 victims were rescued and counselled, stressing that good number of them had been empowered, including five victims who were trained from primary school to the University level, now employed by the agency.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that participants were drawn from IATA, Nigerians Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), airliners and travel agents.

The DG said that the agency had established Task Force on human trafficking in four states in Nigeria.

On some baby factory girls rescued in Lagos, the DG said 29 ladies were handed over to the agency, stressing that 17 of them were with pregnancy raging from four months to eight months.

She said the agency had prepared for their delivery with the support of the agency’s partners, including UNODC, US and UK governments who provided foods, baby materials amongst other things.

Okah-Donli, urged the woman, one Nkechi, who allegedly camped the girls to report herself to the police or NAPTIP for investigation.

Meanwhile, a register containing names of men that had been prosecuted for sexually assaulting women in Nigeria would be launch soon by NAPTIP.

Okah-Donli said the sex offenders register was another concept aimed at naming and shaming of sex offenders in the country, saying that the list would contain any one convicted and investigated for the crime.

According to her, the workshop is to strengthen the capacity of state and non-state institutions to assist, support and protect victims of trafficking in Nigeria.

“The list will contain both the high and the low in the country, who sexually assaulted any woman, including lecturers, politicians, students, stressing that the list would be part of reference point for peoples integrity guide for public office or employment, including school admission.

“The theme of the workshop is: “Identification, detection and reporting of human trafficking cases,” she said.

The DG said the workshop was aimed at creating very important synergies between the agency and the aviation sector partners in the fight against human trafficking by introducing a 4-page hand bill to them.

She said the bill would be used at the airport, inside the aircraft, at travel agent office, boarder points, stressing that the bill contained phone numbers of NAPTIP, where to reports incident of human trafficking, how to observe trafficked victims amongst other information.

“The purpose of the workshop is to build the capacity of frontline officers in the critical aviation industry with a view to sharpening their professional skills so that they could effectively contribute to national efforts to curb human trafficking.

“If you observe individuals or a group of individuals within the same age range under the control of another person, not in control of their travel documents, seemingly scared and silent, with inconsistent stories and unsure of their mission, report to Airport security.

“Don’t board an aircraft without knowing the next person seated close to you. The person seated on the right or left should be your business.

“Your concern could save someone being transported for slavery of prostitution, report suspected persons to the nearest crew member, “she said.

The Project Coordinator of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), MS Harsheth Virk, said air transportation was one major channel where many human trafficking was carried out.

She commended NAPTIP management for its efforts, calling on the airline crew to always be vigilant in watching all passengers, assuring the agency of continuous support.

NAN

-Oct 8, 2019 @17:59 GMT |

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