We have more internal traffic than external traffic in Nigeria — NAPTIP DG

The Director General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Fatima Waziri-Azi, says there is more internal traffic than external traffic.

Ms. Waziri-Azi revealed this Thursday in Benin during a meeting she held with stakeholders and agency partners in Edo.

She explained that this was because 83% of trafficking in Nigeria occurs within states, within communities and across state borders, adding that only 12% represents cross-border trafficking.

“Just because the media spotlights people in Italy and all that, we think we have more cross-border traffic.

“No. Internal trafficking is happening before our eyes. Domestic servitude is a crisis in Nigeria, and so is forced labor.

“Human trafficking is therefore a national crisis. Each state is affected, although each state has its own uniqueness,” she said.

She sued for more public awareness against human trafficking, noting that there was enormous public ignorance on issues related to human trafficking.

Ms. Waziri-Azi urged participants to focus on raising awareness.

“The days when we thought human trafficking was offline are over, now it’s online. So we have an increase in fake job advertorials and fake scholarships.

“These are the modern trends that human traffickers use to lure their victims, with Dubai, India and Cyprus being the trending destinations,” she said.

The chief executive, who described human trafficking as a $150 billion criminal enterprise and the second largest transnational organized crime after drug trafficking, said human trafficking was a business for professional criminals.

She explained that it was because there were two sides to the crime, as there was the professional criminal enterprise that trafficked people for the sole purpose of killing them and harvesting their organs.

She added that it was because there was currently a global shortage of organs for transplant.

She revealed that the flip side of human trafficking is the recruiters who actively target vulnerable communities to recruit their victims.

Ms Waziri-Azi, however, said some Nigerians fall prey to human traffickers because of misinformation and misinformation.

She called for strong and continued synergy among all stakeholders to stem the tide of human trafficking.

Earlier, Nduka Nwanwenne, Area Commander, Benin Area Command, in his opening remarks revealed that since the establishment of the Area Command, no less than 774 suspected human traffickers have been arrested in the area.

He also said the zone had secured 80 convictions of indicted human traffickers since the zone was established.

He said 2,695 survivors, including 144 men and 2,551 women, came through the NAPTIP shelter.

Mr. Nwanwenne noted that partnership was a key element in the fight against human trafficking.

He pledged to pursue the execution of the agency’s mandate with the support of stakeholders.

“We can change the discourse on human trafficking,” he stressed.


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Shirlene J. Manley