NAPTIP Plans Sensitization Of IDPs, Benue Communities Against Trafficking, Child Labour
From Msughshima Andrew, Makurdi
As a measure to check incidences of child labour, child defilement and trafficking in Benue state, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, (NAPTIP) said they would soon commence sensitization and awareness campaign in Benue communities and IDP camps.
NAPTIP Zonal Commander in Benue, Aganran Ganiu Alao who disclosed this while speaking to our correspondence at the command’s office in Makurdi, said the campaign has become necessary to enable the agency stem the tide of the three edged menace which was fast assuming an alarming rate.
Alao who noted that the campaign will be carried out in collaboration with the DG of NAPTIP, said it will be based on community dialogue with the traditional rulers, local chiefs and other stakeholders in various local government so that together they can fight what he termed as modern day slavery.
“This is going to be a sustained exercise and we shall continue to monitor happenings within these rural communities and in and around the IDP camps where most of the young girls are vulnerable and deceived.
“We will also be collaborating with the Media, Churches, Mosques and all stakeholders in the rural communities to rid the state of the menace”, he assured.
The zonal commander, who lamented that Benue is fast becoming safe haven for traffickers and child labour due to ignorance of the locals and recent farmer/herders crisis, noted that the command has made some achievement in terms of arrest, prosecution and rehabilitation.
Agantan-Alao said the Agency has recorded 217 cases of child trafficking, Child abuse and other related matters since inception in Benue in 2013.
Alao who assumed duty on October 15, the state had low records of human trafficking which was on a decline and could be totally eliminated.
“Presently, we have 14 convicts and 14 more cases in court, others are awaiting trial and conviction. For the year 2018, only 8 cases of child abuse and human trafficking has been reported”, he said.
The state commander, who thanked the state goverment for its assistance however decried adjournment of cases and transfer of judges as major set backs in handling its duties and called the establishment of special courts for NAPTIP cases to enhance speedy dispensation of justice for victims.