Judges to aid crack­down on hu­man traf­fick­ing

Daily Trust - - CITY NEWS -

Ex­perts sug­gest Nige­ria has the largest num­ber of chil­dren ex­ploited through hu­man traf­fick­ing and street vend­ing across sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa, and have called on the ju­di­ciary to toughen crack­down.

The call comes as judges met in Abuja un­der the aus­pices of the Na­tional Agency for the Pro­hi­bi­tion of Traf­fick­ing in Per­sons (NAPTIP) amidst con­cern over grow­ing pro­lif­er­a­tion of baby fac­to­ries in the south of the coun­try and or­gan­ised transna­tional crimes.

Dutch Na­tional Rap­por­teur on Traf­fick­ing in Hu­man Be­ings and Sex­ual Vi­o­lence Against Chil­dren, Corinne Dettmei­jer, said, “Baby fac­tory busi­ness in Nige­ria is a new prob­lem, and the world has to know it re­ally ex­ists.”

Sex­ual ex­ploita­tion ranks high among traf­fick­ing crimes glob­ally, and 53% of vic­tims come from sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa.

“We must un­der­stand that sex­ual ex­ploita­tion hap­pen in pri­vate homes and ho­tels,” said Dettmei­jer.

“Re­cent trends from Nige­ria is the baby fac­tory, which is a crime we must not al­low to thrive. We have to en­sure that our laws make it pun­ish­able for per­pe­tra­tors.”

NAPTIP’s lat­est re­port has been crit­i­cised for not cap­tur­ing baby fac­to­ries and street vend­ing as se­ri­ous crimes, along­side do­mes­tic and in­ter­nal traf­fick­ing.

“They are all traf­fick­ing and should be called by its true name to give peo­ple the pro­tec­tion they de­serve,” said Dettmei­jer.

World­wide re­ports into the phe­nom­e­non last year found re­duced in­volve­ment of Nige­ri­ans in sex­ual ex­ploita­tion, but an­a­lysts think the low fig­ures are be­cause many com­plaints are not reg­is­tered and vic­tims are un­will­ing to re­port cases.

Dettmei­jer said Nige­rian women traf­ficked to the Nether­lands—lured by promised of lov­ing re­la­tion­ships abroad, de­cep­tion about the na­ture of work abroad and debts owed to hu­man traf­fick­ers—“chose to keep silent about sex­ual ex­ploita­tion be­cause they are work­ing to get res­i­dent per­mits.”

Traf­fick­ing in Per­sons (Pro­hi­bi­tion) En­force­ment and Ad­min­is­tra­tion Act ( TIPPEA) was re-en­acted on 26th March, 2015 to help NAPTIP pro­vide ef­fec­tive guide to pro­hibit, pre­vent, de­tect, pros­e­cute and pun­ish hu­man traf­fick­ing, af­ter the older leg­is­la­tion was dis­cov­ered to have not been pre­pared for new trends in traf­fick­ing, ac­cord­ing to the agency’s di­rec­tor-gen­eral Beat­rice Agba.

“Hu­man traf­fick­ers have be­come more tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced in the per­pe­tra­tion of their ne­far­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties to beat de­tec­tion which has re­sulted in the need for a cor­re­spond­ing re­sponse by the agency,” said Agba.

“This can only be done by en­sur­ing that in­ves­ti­ga­tors and prose­cu­tors are abreast with mod­ern tech­nol­ogy and tech­ni­cal­i­ties in law,” she said.

The new leg­is­la­tion will also aid na­tional and in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion, and NAPTIP is look­ing to the ju­di­ciary to help im­ple­men­ta­tion of TIPPEA.

Agba sug­gested mech­a­nisms to en­able vic­tims of traf­fick­ing ob­tain “prompt and ad­e­quate re­dress through pro­ce­dures that are ex­pe­di­tious, fair, in­ex­pen­sive and ac­ces­si­ble.”

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