By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
30 victims and potential victims of human trafficking have received skills acquisition in various fields by a Non-Governmental Organization, Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) in Kaduna State and other four states in Nigeria.
Speaking to Journalists during the closing ceremony of the empowerment programme in Kaduna yesterday, the Executive Director of the Group, Dr. Uju Agomoh said the desire of her group is to ensure that the issue of human trafficking in Nigeria is put under control and to also create awareness about the danger of human trafficking among Nigerians.
While speaking, Dr. Agomoh noted that five States in Nigeria has been identified as the most endemic in Nigeria when it comes to issue of human trafficking, saying the States include: Kaduna, Ogun, Kano, Edo and Anambra.
According to her, “the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) 2013 data report analyses shows that the mentioned states are prevalent to human trafficking which is why we focus more on those states to empowered and educate people about the adopted methods of the traffickers”.
“Some of the identified factors responsible for human trafficking includes: poverty, high rate of unemployment, especially among the youth who have graduated from school and have nothing doing, lack of education on the issue of human trafficking among others”.
“The intervention is targeted this states to help the prevention of these incidents before if happens. It is also to assist some persons who may one way or the other had faces with such situation to fully integrate and fully rehabilitates to live a life that will be good for them,” Dr. Agomoh said.
According to her, part of the reason while people engage in human trafficking are not because of lack of awareness but because of economic pressure.
She called to government at all levels that as much as possible, they need to adopt a comprehensive approach in dealing with human trafficking such as massive awareness program that would enable people to known that this is not the right road to undertake that way investing in prevention.
“My called to government is that as much as possible we must adopt comprehensive approach in dealing with human trafficking such as massive awareness program that would enable people to known that this is not the right road to undertake that way investing in prevention.
“Also part of investing in prevention is ensuring that all those incisive that in-citified people to do these things is addressed such as create jobs, provide self-help groups, provide psychological support for people and adequate counseling that would discouraged them from going into trafficking.
“It also required the whole notion of providing care, treatment, rehabilitation for those who may have fallen victim one way or the other so that they can be fully reintegrated back into the society”
“You need to look at the notion of enforcement. So how has it been that some people have been able to traffic others, what can we do more with our law enforcement agencies, to create awareness, to cause them to be more vigilant, to ensure that these will not be something that we will be witnessing more”
“The problem is not that the laws are not ok but the problem of the laws that we have in Nigeria is full implementation. So my point here is that we have to really look at issues of full implementation of law that has been made and we need to look at how everyone must be recruited to be part this campaign that needs to say NO to Human Trafficking” she ended.
However, a 20 years old Aisha Muhammad, who became a victim in 2011 and while narrating her story said she was promised by her uncle that she should follow him to Kano from Zaria to further her education, saying all promised became lies as she ended up becoming streets hawker.
“Due to the widespread poverty of my parents, my uncle promise to help me to further my education with him in Kano, but he used to travelled to Port-Harcourt for his work. After some months that my uncle travelled out of Kano state his wife stopped me from going to school and I became streets hawker, selling pure water in the city of Kano and that exposed me to so many things; clubbing, smocking and I started following men around because of bad friend,” she said.
Speaking on her experience with PRAWA, Aisha said: “I am very happy with my life now because with the empowerment programme that I went through under the supervision of PRAWA and NAPTIP I am now an independent person, and I can also empower others in the future”.