…announces partnership with Canadian High Commission
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, on Tuesday, said it had secured convictions against 80 offenders in 2022.
The agency also said it rescued 2,743 victims of human trafficking to various countries in 2022.
The agency also revealed that 1,440 calls reporting human trafficking-related cases were received within the same period.
This was disclosed by NAPTIP’s Director-General, Fatima Waziri-Azi, during an event announcing the partnership between the agency and the Canadian government to eliminate human trafficking.
The PUNCH reports that NAPTIP is a Federal Government agency established to fight the trafficking of persons and other similar violations of rights.
She explained that out of 2,743 victims rescued with assistance from other law enforcement agencies, 233 were children, 688 were female children, 363 were male adults, and 1,459 were female adults.
She said, “In 2022, NAPTIP received 1,440 reported cases of trafficking in persons, 412 external trafficking cases and 1,028 internal trafficking cases.”
She added that “2,743 victims were rescued in collaboration with other sister law enforcement agencies. The number of victims trafficked into Nigeria was 45. Victims who returned from abroad were 251 and intercepted victims who were on their way out of Nigeria were 1,484.
“We also secured 80 convictions in 2022 to 45 males and 35 females. We already have 17 convictions for 2023 and cumulatively the agency has secured 592 convictions since its first conviction in 2004. We also have 262 cases in various courts across the country.”
However, the number of convictions secured has not been commensurate with the number of traffickers arraigned in court over the years.
Waziri-Azi in her remarks noted that the collaboration was also necessary because human trafficking remained one of the world’s most serious human rights violations and the second most profitable criminal enterprise.
She explained that the partnership would provide training and capacity building for stakeholders in the field of migration and strategic communications to tackle the challenge of modern slavery and human trafficking.
She said, “Human trafficking remains one of the most serious human rights violations and the world’s second most profitable criminal enterprise. It happens in plain sight and is far more prevalent, complex and close to home than most of us realise.”
On his part, the Canadian high commissioner in Nigeria, James Christoff, said identifying individuals at risk of human trafficking using evidence-based methods would help local authorities eliminate human trafficking and illegal migration.
“The issue of human trafficking is prevalent around the world in general, but in Nigeria, its size, scope and scale impacts unfortunately far too many people.
“The Government of Canada is committed to working diligently with both domestic law enforcement agencies and international partners, as well as with source and transit countries to combat criminal trafficking organisations that prey on the desperation and vulnerability of others,” he assured.