By Joy Odigie
Benin, – The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has presented equipment for the empowerment of 12 victims of human tracking in Edo.
The items which comprised six sewing and six hair dressing equipment were presented to the beneficiaries on Thursday in Benin.
Presenting the items, Mr Nduka Nwanwenne, Commander, NAPTIP Benin Zonal office, said the goal was to improve the standard of living of the victims.
Nwanwenne said that the protection of the victims through empowerment was the core mandate of NAPTIP in the fight against human trafficking.
“The directive to empower these girls is from the Direction General of NAPTIP and the aim is to ensure that the girls are no longer vulnerable.
“Victims are protected not only through prosecution of traffickers but also through empowerment to ensure they are gainfully employed and enterprising,’’ he said.
He added that the empowerment of the victims was crucial noting that some beneficiaries previously empowered were now employers of labour.
“We empowered a trafficked victim with just sewing equipment and when we went to monitor her business; she has bought three additional sewing machines and has two apprentices.
“So we want you to be hardworking; the equipment are yours and we want you to put them into good use”, he said.
One of the beneficiaries, who pleaded anonymity, commended NAPTIP for giving her hope after being rescued back to Nigeria.
“I am grateful today for being a beneficiary; I remember when I came back to Nigeria, there was no hope for me, but the empowerment I got through NAPTIP has put smiles on my face.
“I can now sew; I made the outfit I am putting on today,” she said.
Also, Mr Clement Aimienowon, a parent of one of the beneficiaries, while commending NAPTIP for the gesture, urged youths to be optimistic on achieving success in the country.
Aimienowon also urged parents to encourage their children to acquire skills as a means of livelihood and not to compel them to become victims of human trafficking. (NAN)