An anti-human trafficking group, the Academy for Prevention of Human Trafficking and other related matters (TAPHOM), has said that about 701, 032 Nigerians are illegally moved out of the country every year for sexual exploitation, organ removal and forced labour.
The academy, a subsidiary of Devatop Centre for Africa Development, in partnership with National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), disclosed this yesterday at a workshop they organised to train participants on modern anti-trafficking schemes.
A total of 68 law enforcement agents, legal practitioners, youths, educators, community volunteers, religious groups and journalists were trained on the anti-human trafficking advocacy course.
The executive director of Devatop Centre for Africa Development and head of TAPHOM, Joseph Osuigwe Chidiebere, said there is much work to be done to combat and prevent human trafficking and gender-based violence, while calling on others to join the fight.
“People might think human trafficking is a thing of the past, but it is happening now. There is hardly any family that is not touched by the effects of human trafficking, rape or gender-based violence,” he said.
He expressed his passion to engage stakeholders in building a world without human trafficking and gender-based violence.
“We can’t keep silent at this evil. We can’t close our eyes to it. We can’t pretend as if it doesn’t exist. We have to take action, and nothing but action”, he stated.
During the graduation of the trainees and inauguration of Day of Advocacy against Human Trafficking, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, former chairman of National Human Rights Commission advised the participants to start putting things right in Nigeria. He also stated that bad leadership and poverty were among the causes of human trafficking.
Also, the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, represented by the commissioner of police, Interpol, Abuja, Mr. Olusola Subair, assured the participants that the police will continue to improve its efforts and strategies in the fight against human trafficking.
The director of Public Enlightenment of National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Mr. Arinze Orakwue, charged the trainees to take strategic actions to prevent human trafficking.
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) also said that combating human trafficking requires building a protective environment for children to prevent their abuse and exploitation.
It added that continuous public education campaigns and rigorous enforcement of the law must be prioritised in order to change the tradition of using children as labourers, particularly domestic girls.