346 Persons Trafficked Out Of Nigeria through Niger, Benin Republics – NAPTIP
konknaijaboy | On 02, Mar 2014
A total of 346 persons were allegedly trafficked out of Nigeria through some West African country borders, including Benin Republic and Niger, the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, has revealed.
The report which was obtained in Lagos also predict an increase in this number before the end of the year, except something drastic was done.
Signed by the Chairperson of NAPTIP, Mrs. Beatrice Jedy-Agba, it disclosed further that henceforth stiffer penalty await traffickers in persons in Nigeria.
The report however said that government of Nigeria over the years has only been able to make limited efforts to protect trafficking victims during the period, despite the government’s considerable resources.
NAPTIP according to the report, maintained a database of trafficking victims identified by the government and NGOs and reported a total of 949 victims identified within the country in 2013, including 386 victims of forced labor, 563 victims of sex trafficking, and 467 children.
It said government paid a monthly stipend of the equivalent of $2,500 to a local NGO and provided in-kind donations and services to NGOs and other organizations that afforded protective services to trafficking victims.
It was gathered that the agency spent about one fifth of its operational budget, or the equivalent of $671,000, on victim protection during 2013. NAPTIP continued to operate eight shelters with the total capacity for 210 victims at a time; this constitutes a 50 percent decrease in capacity from 2012.
The NAPTIP report claimed that this reduction was intended to provide more comfortable accommodations for victims. “Given NAPTIP’s ongoing reported difficulty in adequately staffing and caring for victims in shelters, this reduction of beds is worrisome, especially because the number of identified Nigerian trafficking victims continues to increase. During the reporting period, NAPTIP completed the relocation of its primary and largest shelter to a higher-capacity facility devoted solely to trafficking victims.”
The report also said that in January this year, senior NAPTIP officials conducted a joint raid with Malian officials in order to rescue previously identified Nigerian sex trafficking victims in Bamako-based brothels.
“While screening mechanisms in Bamako remained limited, upon arrival in Nigeria victims were referred to local NAPTIP shelters for care; most victims chose to return to their homes after a brief stay in shelters. Within Nigeria, government officials continued to lack systematic procedures for identifying victims among vulnerable populations, such as women in prostitution.”
Authorities outside of NAPTIP – such as police and immigration officers assigned to other units – were not well-trained to identify victims. In one particular case, and for unknown reasons, Nigerian officials did not assist prosecutors, representing a Nigerian victim in a foreign country, in locating a Nigerian trafficker who was in Nigeria during the case proceedings.
Nigerian diplomats in a neighboring West African country referred most of the Nigerian trafficking victims identified in that country to local NGOs rather than arranging for their repatriation to NAPTIP shelters in Nigeria.
It also gathered from the report that despite the growing number of Nigerian trafficking victims identified abroad, the government was yet to implement formal procedures for the repatriation and reintegration of Nigerian victims.
Read more HERE