BY ANKELI EMMANUEL, Sokoto
No fewer than 7 persons believed to be directly involved or abetting activities of human trafficking have died in Edo State following the curse placed on the trade by the traditional leaders in the state.
The Benin Zonal Commander of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficing in Person (NAPTIP), Mr. Nduka Nwanwenne stated this during a training organized by Network of Civil Society Organizations Against Child Trafficking, Abuse And Labour (NACTAL) with support from United States Agency for International Development and Nigeria Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (USAID-SCALE) Project.
Mr. Nduka said the Edo State traditional institution took bold step towards curbing the trend by placing a curse on anybody administering oath of secrecy on would-be trafficking victim, covering information about plot to traffick people or enjoying the status symbol of the crime.
He also debunked insinuations that poverty was the major cause of people indulging in trafficking, saying no country in the world is immune to poverty.
While noting that some people are equally poor in Europe where most trafficked victims are taken to, Mr Nduka said no one should think that there are gold on the streets of Europe.
The NAPTIP official listed some of the dangers of human trafficking to include – loss of life, health risk, trauma, emotional and psychological breakdown, security challenges, dents to nation’s image, social and economic distortions, as well as unwanted pregnancy as
Mr. Nduka, who spoke on the theme: “Understanding Basic Concepts In Trafficking In Persons, Root Causes, Emerging Trends and Effects of Trafficking In Persons, noted that a lot of those trafficked out of Nigeria died in the Mediterranean Sea without getting to the desired destinations.
While noting that advancement in technology has helped in tracking the trend, The NAPTIP commander lamented that the same technology is still been used as an easy and fast avenue for recruiting victims via social media platforms.
Speaking on the emerging trends in the effects of human trafficking, Mr Nduka said illegal sales of children was equally becoming alarming, and should be checked by urgently stepping up more surveillance.
He identified human trafficking as a multi billion dollar crime, second to drugs. Mr. Nduka said the some of the reasons people engage in trafficking, include: sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, forced labour, organ harvesting, begging and forced conscription of children as child soldier.
On his part, The National President of NACTAL, Abdulganiyu Abubakar affirmed that achieving meaningful fight against Trafficking in Person (TIP) would not be possible without genuine media engagement as critical stakeholders.
This, according to him is because the media educate, enlighten, entertain and advocate for better society for all.
He further noted that, the theme of the training, “Improving Coordination and Implementation Capacity of CSOs On Controlling Trafficking In Person (CTIP) in Nigeria” is apt.
Abdulganiyu also divulged that NACTAL have trained over 200 agencies ranging from security personnel and others on why they should be critical stakeholders and unrelenting advocates towards ending TIP.
The workshop also have in attendance media practitioners drawn from Benue, Edo, Enugu, Borno, Lagos, Taraba, Cross River and Sokoto State respectively.