The Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Mrs Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, has described human trafficking as a crime that targets 70 per cent of women, both young and old.
Sulaiman-Ibrahim said this on Friday at a NAPTIP town hall meeting/community dialogue session in Benin.
The theme of the town hall meeting/community dialogue was “Toward Fighting the Scourge of Human Trafficking and Irregular Migration in Edo.”
The director-general, represented by Mr Arinze Orakwe, the Director, Public Enlightenment in the agency, also described human trafficking as a crime that had brought shame on the country.
She noted that human trafficking was Gender-Based Violence (GBV), adding that the traffickers always target women.
She, therefore, stressed the need to elevate women with a view to making them strong
to avoid being vulnerable to human traffickers.
She said that women, particularly in Edo, were known for their zeal and passion to survive, noting, however, that the zeal should not be transferred to human trafficking.
She also said that human trafficking was a modern slavery that involved exploitation and not a way out of poverty and unemployment.
The director-general explained that there were two types of human trafficking, which include internal and external trafficking, noting that in Edo, external trafficking was prevalent.
She restated the agency’s commitment to nib human trafficking in the bud and called for concerted efforts from stakeholders to chart ways out of the menace.
Mrs Ijeoma Uduak, the Zonal Commander, Benin Zonal Office, said that the town hall meeting was initiated to proffer solution toward eradicating human trafficking in the state.
Uduak explained that the agency was not only in the forefront of the fight against human trafficking, but also rehabilitating victims.
She stressed the need to take the message on the ills of human trafficking to every nook and cranny to change the narrative.
Mrs Grace Nsikak, the state Director, National Orientation Agency, said there could not be any better time to collaborate and change the narrative than now.
Similarly, various Non-Governmental Organisations and Civil Liberty Organisations in their goodwill messages gave assurance of continued collaboration with NAPTIP in the fight against human trafficking.
Some of them noted that on daily basis, human traffickers were devising new ways of getting the vulnerable ones as their prey.
They said every stakeholder had a duty to brace up to stop the traffickers.