Kano – The Kano Zonal Command of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other Related Matters (NAPTIP) said it had rescued and rehabilitated 3,000 victims of trafficking in 10 years.
The command, made up of Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Jigawa and Katina states, said those rescued were victims of international and domestic trafficking.
The command’s Head of Public Enlightenment, Malam Ali Kalli, said this in Kano at a sensitisation programme on the dangers and prevention of human trafficking.
The programme, organised by the Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) in partnership with NAPTIP, was sponsored by the Netherlands Embassy.
The programme was held in schools across three senatorial zones of the state.
He said that 2,000 of the rescued victims had been rehabilitated and empowered through skills acquisition training in various trades such as tailoring and hair dressing.
According to him, victims found to be school drop-outs were sponsored and enrolled into their former schools to complete their studies.
Kalli said the command, in collaboration with security agencies, prosecuted more than 60 cases of domestic and international human trafficking during the period.
He said offenders were also convicted and sentenced to various jail terms.
He said 85 per cent of the victims in the five states were mostly girls below the age of 18 trafficked to the Middle East for domestic labour or prostitution.
In his lecture on “The Nature and Effects of Human Trafficking and Child Labour in Nigeria’’, Dr Bello Ibrahim of the Department of Sociology, Bayero University, Kano, defined human trafficking as forced labour, child prostitution and domestic servitude.
He described human trafficking as illegal and bonded labour, servile marriage, false adoption, sex tourism and entertainment,
pornography, organised begging and organ harvesting.
He said human trafficking was a crime against humanity marked by intent to deceive and exploit a victim.
Kalli said that Nigeria was among leading African countries in human trafficking with cross-border and internal trafficking.
He said human trafficking was considered as the third largest source of profits for organised crime, quoting a report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
According to him, the report states that globally, most (human) trafficking is national or regionally carried out by people whose nationality is the same as that of their victims.
He called for more commitment from the government and other stakeholders to tackle the problem by engaging in comprehensive interventions that would address the root causes and the negative impact of human trafficking.
The PRAWA Coordinator, Ogechi Ogu, said the reported increase in human trafficking in Kano, Anambra, Edo, Kaduna, Ogun and other states in the last three years prompted the collaboration with other agencies to check the menace.
She said the organisation also embarked on sensitisation, lectures and advocacy visits to policy makers and community leaders, to prevent the incidences of human trafficking in the country.
Ogu said PRAWA also organised entrepreneurship development programme and life planning skills training for victims to check the crime. (NAN)