The Federal Government has called for a collective global effort to tackle the menace of human trafficking which is currently damaging the country’s image.
Mr Dayo Apata, the Solicitor General of the Federation made the call at the 2019 World Day Against Human Trafficking on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to him, for the menace of human trafficking to be conquered both home and destination countries of traffickers must work together as a team.
The Solicitor General said that about three million persons were estimated globally to be victims of forced labour and human trafficking, adding that women and girls were most vulnerable.
He disclosed that, women make up 56 per cent of the victims of economic exploitation and that 98 per cent of the women are exploited in commercial sex slavery.
“Human trafficking is a great violation of human rights, taking appropriate measure to put an end to this menace is very serious,
“It has been estimated that at least three million persons globally are in situations of forced labour as a result of human trafficking
“In 2015, Nigeria in a bid to strengthen the provision of trafficking laws, re-enacted NAPTIP and other provision of the law, this is in addition to stiffer penalties ,’’ he said.
Apata however, commended the effort of the Federal government in reducing the menace adding that the country has come a long way since it signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC).
He said that there was need to take appropriate measures to prevent, suppress and punish perpetrators of trafficking in persons and provide assistance and protection to victims.
On his part, Vice president Yemi Osinbanjo said that the Federal Government has implemented several empowerment schemes for the youths as a means of tackling the menace of human trafficking
The Vice President, who was represented by Mrs Mariam Uwais, Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment commended NAPTIP for its effort to restore Nigeria to Tier 2 from Tier 1 Watch List on the United States of America Trafficking in Persons Report.
NAPTIP Director General, Mrs Julie Okah-Donli, earlier in an address of welcome outlined the achievements recorded by the agency saying that the agency was able to secure 403 convictions since its inception in 2003.
According to Okah-Donli, 14,000 victims of human trafficking were rescued, rehabilitated and reintegrated back into their various communities within this period.
She said that the agency had also strengthened the existing collaborations with various partners, formed new alliances on all fronts to boost the fight against human trafficking in Nigeria and beyond.
“Recently, NAPTIP has successfully inaugurated state task forces to fight against human trafficking in Delta, Ondo and Ekiti States, in addition to the existing taskforce in Edo State.
“We hope to replicate this in all 36 states of the federation, because it aims at getting the state and local governments to take proactive steps towards the combat of human trafficking in their domain”.
reports that various stakeholders such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), UN Women Country Representative, Nollywood Ambassadors on Human Trafficking promised to continue to give their support to the fight against the menace.
NAN also reports that representatives of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha were all at the occasion to give their goodwill messages.