Taraba State Govt Assures NAPTIP of Maximum Support as Task Force on Human Trafficking Commences Activities

……. Human Trafficking in Nigeria Is not a Problem, It Is a Crises…Says NAPTIP DG

Taraba State Governor, His Excellency Darius Ishaku, has promised a robust collaboration and support to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in order to eliminate the menace of human trafficking and Child Labour in the State.

The Governor who admitted the prevalence of Child trafficking and other forms of exploitation in the State lamented the painful effects of human trafficking on victims and the society and called for all- inclusive synergy among Stakeholders to end the illicit trade.

He stated this in Jalingo, Taraba State Capital while inaugurating the Taraba State Task Force on Human Trafficking.

The development came amidst appeal by the Director General of NAPTIP, Dr. Fatima Waziri – Azi, that State and Non- State Actors should ensure that the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act of 2015 in the FCT, which Taraba State has since adopted as law is sternly applied in view of the hideous cases sexual and gender-based violence reported across the country.

Represented by the Secretary to the Taraba State Government, Mr. Anthony Jellason, the Governor commended the Director General for her determination and zeal in tackling incidence of human trafficking in the Country and promised that his government shall join hands with the Agency through the Task Force to ensure adequate protection of the people of the State.

He said Taraba State Government seriously frown at the” actions of some immoral indecent people whose business it is to aggravate human suffering through human trafficking.

“It has therefore become very expedient as a Government to demonstrate our resolve to stamp out this deadliest evil against humanity.

“The inauguration of the Taraba State Task Force on Human Trafficking is a direct affront to eradicate a trade that is slowly emerging in the State.

“It is a common knowledge that the venerable impoverished and uneducated parents and guardian have always be the main target of human traffickers in the State. That does not negate instances where parents who appear to be educated and well to do, also sent their children abroad to engage in prostitution and other crimes that are detrimental to human survival”, the Governor said.

He called for all round orientation starting from the family Unit to the larger society to end the ugly trade.

Speaking, the Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Dr. Fatima Waziri – Azi, whose speech was punctuated with basic statistics on the prevalence of human trafficking in Taraba State and Nigeria as a Country, declared that despite the huge challenged posed by the incidence of human trafficking in the Country, the Agency shall continue to go after the traffickers with a renewed tactics and pro-activeness.

Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi said, “NAPTIP is working assiduously to give effect to the decision of the 45th National Economic Council (NEC) Meeting which held on the 24th of January 2013, that States should support NAPTIP’s activities in order to strengthen the National response to Human Trafficking at the sub-national levels. Which is why NAPTIP is collaborating with State Governments to set up Task Force against Human Trafficking under the supervision of State Governors in order to consolidate the efforts of the Agency and other stakeholders.

“Human Trafficking in Nigeria is not a problem, it is a CRISES! Which has become an International and National concern especially with the large number of Nigerians trapped in sexual and labor exploitation in various African and European countries.

“Human trafficking, is a multi-billion-dollar global industry and second amongst Transnational Organized Crime that exact high human costs leaving many trapped in exploitative situations worldwide.

“Even though accurate data difficult to come by, due to the clandestine nature of the crime, International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that no fewer than 40.3 million victims are currently trapped in different forms of human trafficking across the globe with Nigerians accounting for a great number. NAPTIP statistics from 2019 till date reveals that 61% of trafficking in Nigeria has internally while 39% happens across our borders.

“Happening internally in Nigeria is an increase in across the state trafficking for sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced labor, debt bondage, child labour, illegal adoption, and buying and selling of human beings. In terms of geographic prevalence in cases of human trafficking for the North East we have seen an increase in cases of Domestic Servitude; Orphanage Trafficking, Buying and Selling of children and trafficking for sexual exploitation.

“The challenges ahead of us are enormous but we remain undaunted, and we must develop new initiatives for ensuring adequate resources for the effective operationalization of the Taraba State Task Force so it can effectively carry out its mandate; provision of safe spaces and shelters; vocational and formal training opportunities for victims of human trafficking.

“From November, 2021 to August, 2022, a total of 111 indigenes of Taraba State (victims of trafficking in persons) have been rescued by NAPTIP and other Law Enforcement Agencies in the State. These victims were subjected to child labour, domestic servitude and sexual exploitation.

“Your Excellency, we are not oblivious of the economic challenges faced by States.  It is however, our firm believe that NAPTIP’s presence in Taraba state will go a long way in mitigating the crime of trafficking in the state and better serve the people of Taraba State”, The Director General said.

She thanked the Governor for the support given to the Task Force with the donation of vehicles and office accommodation and assured him of improved counter – trafficking activities in the State.

Dr. Fatima also appreciates the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for supporting the inauguration of the Task Force.

In his goodwill message, representative of the Chief of Mission, International Organization for Migration (IOM), Mr. Tolu Alabi, outlined the various interventions of the Organization in the areas of rescue, assisted voluntary return, empowerment of survivors as well as technical assistance to relevant Agencies and promised to step up support to the Task Force.

Also, while on a courtesy visit to the Deputy Governor of the State, His Excellency, Engineer Haruna Manu, the Director General lamented the emerging dimension of human trafficking being fueled by the advent of technology and urged parents to be watchful over the online engagement of their children.

In his response, the Taraba State Deputy Governor, His Excellency, Engineer Haruna Manu, thanked the Director General for the visit and the inauguration of the Task Force and called for an increase activity of NAPTIP in the State.

Cross section of Stakeholders who attended the inauguration commended the Director General for her passion towards eradicating human trafficking in the Country and assured the Agency of greater collaboration with the Taraba State Task Force.

Adekoye Vincent
Press Officer

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