With an estimated profit of $150billion yearly from about a 25million people exploited by human traffickers, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has asked the government to address factors that drive irregular migrants on dangerous journeys through the creation of jobs and infrastructure that support entrepreneurship, adequate security and vocational skill training opportunities.
Indeed, the chamber noted that human trafficking is a challenge of extraordinary proportions which causes a major humanitarian crisis, if not urgently and adequately addressed.
This, the LCCI said, reinforces the need for critical reforms in the establishment of effective mechanisms that would minimise the incidence of human trafficking in Nigeria.
The chamber stated this at the partnership with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP) to commemorate the World Day Against Trafficking in person themed, Victim’s Voices Leads The Way.
The President of LCCI, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, said that trafficked Nigeria women and men are recruited from rural areas within the country’s border for involuntary domestic servitude with Nigeria being the source and transit for the destination of women and children subjected to trafficking in person for forced labour and forced prostitution.
According to her, these women and children are taken from Nigeria to other West African countries such as Gabon, Cameroon, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Chad, Burkina Faso and the Gambia for nefarious purposes, while some are taken to Europe, especially Italy and Russia for forced prostitution.
She hinted that 17 per cent were trafficked for forced labour, while 80per cent were trafficked for sexual exploitation while noting that children, women, migrants, refugees, and particularly internally displaced persons are vulnerable to human trafficking.
Mabogunje explained that the victims of human trafficking have experienced ignorance and misunderstanding in their attempt to get help, adding that they have had traumatic post-rescue experiences during identification interviews and legal proceedings.
“Some have faced revictimisation and punishment for crimes they were forced to commit by their traffickers, others have been subjected to stigmatization or received inadequate support.
She highlighted the roles of advocacy groups, development partners, security agencies, government parastatals, humanitarian institutions in supporting the rehabilitation and employment of survivors, who are leading the campaign against human trafficking.
The LCCI boss said the statistical report of irregular migration in Nigeria by the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that states with the highest number of irregular migrations are Delta, Edo, Imo and Lagos States.
Similarly, Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji Dada, said human trafficking is a threat to both national and international security, adding that it desecrates the human person and leads to drug trafficking, arms smuggling and terrorism.
She said human trafficking is a violation of human rights to persons recruited and transfer to do nefarious and illicit jobs adding that every year thousands of women and children fall into the hands of traffickers who use them for exploitative purposes which includes forced labour, slavery, sexual exploitation, economic fraud and for commercial purposes.
Stressing that NAPTIP 2020 reports that the highest number of children trafficked outside Nigeria are girls between the ages of 12 and 17years of age.
She further said the Lagos State government under the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has embarked on different initiatives that ensure financial independence for women which has critical steps to boost self-reliance which underscores this present administration commitment to women empowerment as one of the cardinal policies to make capital reliance to expand their businesses.
Chief of Mission International Organisation for Migration, Mr. Frantz Celestin said Nigeria has recorded the highest number of human trafficking on transits with victims of domestic Human Trafficking perpetrating crimes and exploiting the vulnerability of the victims in the safer boundaries of their destination.
Represented by Ruth Mbugua, he noted that Nigeria has received great intervention support to fight human trafficking in the country with cross border investigation and support from NAPTIP, IOM and several Intervention groups who have impacted greatly towards identifying victims for rehabilitation and resettlement
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