Proactive measures will eliminate the hydra-headed trio of human trafficking, smuggling of migrants and gender-based violence, the Network Against Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL) has stressed.
It called for urgent all-inclusive collaboration to tackle the ills with a common front. “This Modern Slavery will consume our youth and future if we do not increase the tempo to pro-actively support the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons, demand for sustainable support and accountability from donors and get all hands on deck,” NACTAL National President Abdulganiyu Abubakar stated.
He referred to the Viking Rescue Crew report, which shows that since 2021, the plight of people fleeing across the central Mediterranean Sea has continued to rise, with about 1,500 people drowned or considered missing on dangerous escape routes.
According to the report: “Every six hours, on average, one human being has died there while fleeing towards Europe while the European Union has massively restricted state-run search and rescue activities, civilian search and rescue organisations in the central Mediterranean Sea rescued more than 6,700 people from distress at sea in 2021.”
It added: “Every person drowning at sea is one person too much. The number of unreported cases is probably much higher than the 1,500 mentioned above.”
The report also revealed 34,631 children; women and men were rescued
and brought to a place of safety over the past six years.
The NACTAL helmsman complained about what he described as the paltry support offered to victims. He urged the government at all the three tiers in Nigeria to
meaningfully engage and empower the youths to prevent desperate irregular migration with all the negative consequences.
Abubakar also called on parents and guardians to place their children and wards in school or support them to learn a skill rather than give them out to unknown unscrupulous elements who will exploit them.
Speaking on the NACTAL’s visit to the Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, the National President, explained it was part of their efforts towards innovative collaboration to tackle the menaces.
“NACTAL is optimistic that with the zeal and forthrightness of the Director-General and her Team in tackling the crime and its new trends that it can be eradicated when no stone is left unturned by all.”
He said the network had been embarking on various interventions in
awareness raising in hard-to-reach areas, schools, empowerment,
sheltering, psychosocial support, return, admission and reintegration
It has over 208 CSOs spread across the six geopolitical zones of
Nigeria on the network.