NAPTIP, Religious Order sensitise Lagos residents on dangers of human trafficking

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A religious organisation, the Religious Sisters of Charity (RSC), Nigeria Region, in collaboration with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) have sensitised 190 Lagos residents on the dangers of human trafficking .

The theme of the one-day seminar, which brought together the Amuwo -Odifin Area, Festac Town residents, was “Human Trafficking And Illegal Migration : The Role of Community And Local Government Council” .

Speaking at the event on Friday, Justina Nelson , RSC Coordinator, Anti- Human Trafficking Team, said that the seminar was to sensitise the participants on the ills and operations of human trafficking.

“ Our people must be aware of the dangers of human trafficking and educate their friends and families too , they must resist any offer of unverified jobs abroad .

“ They must also report suspicious cases of human trafficking to relevant authorities to curb or eradicate the menace,” she said.

Nelson added that the programme, which also had support from some other organisations, was organised to also equip the participants to become anti-trafficking lobbyists.

The collaborating organisers included the Justice Development And Peace Commision (JDPC) , Holy Family Catholic Church, Festac Town and NAPTIP.

According to her , traffickers are not always strangers, but are most times, also close friends and relatives who offer to assist our children to get greener pastures abroad.

The Reverend Sister said that the fight against human trafficking could only be won when those at the grassroots were also sensitised to support law enforcement agencies and various NGOs .

She said that the seminar had since 2008, been sponsored by Misean Cara , a mission support from Ireland, in order to break the chain of human trafficking .

Nelson listed that representatives at the seminar included those from the Community Development Area (CDA) , market women, neighborhood security , Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIREC) and Community Leaders Association (CLA).

Mrs Rosemary Ndulue , NAPTIP’s Public Enlightenment Information Officer, in a lecture, said that countries could be involved in human trafficking either as a source, transit or destination country.

According to Ndulue, people get involved in human trafficking as a result of poverty, ignorance, greed, and/or moral depravity on the part of parents, guardians as well as other factors.

She said that NAPTIP, as an agency saddled with the responsibility of fighting trafficking in persons, would continue to work at reducing the menace.

“The contribution of everyone to the fight the menace will in turn guarantee a better future for us and especially our women and children who are most vulnerable to trafficking,” Ndulue said.

Also, Mrs Theresa Ijeda , Justice Development And Peace Commision (JDPC) Secretary, enjoined the participants to volunteer to work with NGOs in curbing trafficking.

Ijeda , represented by an official of JDPC, Mrs Ada Uyanuwe, also advised the participants to teach their children and family members good moral values.

Mr Ralph Egunjobi, a representative of NIREC, enjoined governments to re- introduce religious studies in schools to help restore morality to children and in turn correct societal ills .

A participant, Mrs Theresa Egunjobi, thanked the organisers of the seminar and promised that she would join the fight against the menace by spreading the information around and reporting suspected cases.

“As parents and guardians, we should embrace family planning and bear only children that we can cater to, so that when anyone offers to take our children away , we can resist it,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that RSC have sensitised no fewer than 13,000 people across the federation since it began its awareness programme.