The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, has accused states yet to domesticate and pass the Child Rights Act, CRA, of inadvertently aiding and abetting human trafficking and modern day slavery in the country.
This was even as NAPTIP, in collaboration with the United Kingdom Aid, UK Aid/Department for International Development, DFID, have launched a new campaign, tagged 'Not for Sale', aimed at curbing, trafficking in persons, especially for sexual exploitation in Edo and Delta States.
Speaking during the launch of the campaign, Director General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, said the agency would support and partner with the 13 states to ensure they adopt the Act.
Okah-Donli further stated that to effectively curb the menace of sex slavery and human trafficking in Nigeria, the fight should not be left to the Federal Government alone, but that all state governments in Nigeria should empower women in rural areas via effective skill acquisition programmes.
According to her, empowering rural women would cut off supply of victims of trafficking and also ensure that the women earn good living and in turn, impact their communities positively.
She further called on all state governments to make primary and secondary school education free and compulsory and also empower returnees with skills and the tools to work, especially as education and empowerment are critical to curbing illegal migration.
Okah-Donli further stated that the initiative, the 'Not for sale' campaign provided a visible platform for stakeholders within the various states and communities to forge common ground in enlightening vulnerable young women in the society on the potential dangers of buying into false promises of a better life abroad.
According to her, such false promises normally range from involuntary servitude to rape, forced marriages, adding that these had cost many women their lives. She noted that approximately 80 per cent of Nigerian women who take the dangerous journey overseas end up being trafficked and forced into prostitution, adding that the 'Not For Sale' initiative thus provides these women with the support services that enables them to seek out training and opportunities in their home land Nigeria.
She explained that the collaborative efforts of NAPTIP and UK Aid in driving positive conversations through the Not for Sale campaign, was making immeasurable impact in the fight against modern slavery issues and its effect on vulnerable persons, especially young women, in the country.
The NAPTIP boss explained that the initiative aimed to inspire, enable and empower young women in Edo and Delta states to find success on their own terms without paying the terrible price paid by so many others, who look for success abroad.
Also speaking, Deputy Head of Office of the DFID, John Primrose, added that the United Kingdom was also working with state governments in Nigeria to launch a programme that would stamp out modern day slavery in the country.
The event was also attended by Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora issues and Yinka Omorogbe, Attorney General & Minister of Justice for Edo State among others.