* Rescues 75 children; 65 still missing from home

* Reveals trafficking routes

By Evelyn Usman

 The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, has alerted Nigerians on new trends  in human trafficking by owners of ophanage homes and football agents.

This revelation followed its rescue of 75 children who were trafficked from an ophanage home in Abuja , seven years ago.

The  agency’s Director ,  Public Enlightenment , Josiah Emerole, made the disclosure while  presenting a paper on the Emerging Trends, Routes and Tricks in human trafficking,  yesterday,  at an ongoing training for journalists in Asaba, Delta State capital.

He explained that ophanage trafficking involved recruiting  children to attract donations from the rich who visited the homes to celebrate their birthdays.

He said some ophanage homes operators sometimes approached  vulnerable parents with the pretense  to sponsor their children  education, only to end up either giving the children out for child labour or selling them .

He also revealed that another new trend was football trafficking , where traffickers posed as football agents to exploit local footballers seeking to be enlisted into football clubs abroad.

He said ” Ophanage  trafficking is one of the new trends in human trafficking.

There was a case that involved somebody who took children in  the name of trying to help . But  when the parents were looking for the children , they could not be seen anymore.    The number of children involved was over 140 , So far,  in that particular case,  we have been able to rescue  no fewer than 75 of them from different states , with some of them  sold . The case is in court right now .

” Ohpanage trafficking is all over the whole place. We also implore people to alert us  when they see such orphanage homes.

“Advertisement for real jobs especially to the middle East and Oath taking at destination, are among  new trend in human trafficking” .

He highlighted some trafficking routes and destination countries to include :

Kano to  Saudi Arabia in the middle Middle East where victims especially females were forced into  prostitution and begging.

Also , “Niger Republic route to  Libya→ Europe (for prostitution); Nigeria Burkina Faso→ Mali Morocco→ Europe (for prostitution); Nigeria Morocco → Middle East→ (for prostitution) and Nigeria Cote d’Ivoire → Burkina Faso → Mali (graduated from Transit to Destination) among others”.

He therefore called for the need for the media to intensify reportage on human trafficking , in order to save gullible Nigerians the ordeal of being subjected to inhuman treatments associated with  human trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants.

Also presenting a paper on ‘ the roller of the media in combating Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants, the President , Journalists International Forum for Migration, Dr. Abayomi Ajibola,  described human trafficking as the  third rated criminal act in Nigeria according to the 2021 Trafficking Report of the US Department of State, even as he attributed its causes  to poverty Ignorance, lack of economic and educational opportunities among others.

While calling on the need for the media to sustain quality reportage with human face laced with facts , he admonished that ” words like ‘harlot’,  ‘illegal migrants’, ‘swamp migrants’ ‘fucked ladies’ and other derogatory descriptions should be avoided.

” There is also need  to dig  deep into the causes of human trafficking through investigative journalism and working assiduously to orientate the public against the antics of the human traffickers” Ajibola stated.

He also charged the Federal Government to  re-evaluate the NAPTIP closed shelter policy “and ensure authorities take a victim-centered approach by building more care centers and rehabilitation units for the victims.

 “There should be more collaboration between the NAPTIP and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment to adequately monitor the activities of job recruiting agencies in Nigeria to forestall labour trafficking and exploitation both within and outside the country at interval”.

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