Daily Trust (Abuja)

19 September 2012

Nigeria: NAPTIP Rescues 10 Girls 'Enslaved' in Abidjan

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP) has evacuated ten Nigerian girls working as sex slaves in Abidjan, Cote d'ivoire.

A statement by the agency's spokesperson, Orakwue Arinze, said the girls who were brought into Abuja in two batches are from Edo, Delta, Rivers and Benue states, with Edo having six girls.

While receiving the girls, Executive Secretary of NAPTIP, Mrs. Beatrice Jedy-Agba said the operation was in collaboration with the regional bureau office of Interpol in Abidjan and an Abidjan based Non Governmental Organization, family Essan for Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, FEPDH.

She called for more intelligence sharing; co-operation and collaboration between West African law enforcement agencies on trafficking in persons as a panacea to breaking the stranglehold of the criminal networks on the scourge.

According to her, NAPTIP felt obliged to bring the girls back home for rehabilitation as Nigerians and also to support further investigation in the crime.

She lamented that there are many Nigerian girls in bondage in the booming sex trade in Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso and the agency will go as far as fund permits to return them home to safety and rehabilitation.

Jedy-Agba said the task of combating this crime and consequent rehabilitation of victims cannot be left to NAPTIP alone as the whole of society is needed in tackling the responsibility.

The ten girls are presently undergoing medical screening and counseling with NAPTIP operatives after which rehabilitation will commence.

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