Director General, National Agency for Protection Against Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, Mrs …Donli has said women and girls are exposed to more risks including forced marriage, trafficking and other forms of violence because of lack of education. She spoke at a summit by royal queens of the Niger Delta convened in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Said she: “Women and girls face more risk due to lack of education. Poor education has pulled women to the background where they are abused and forced into early marriage. Myriad of challenges confront women feminizing poverty. Women and girls are forced to make sacrifices to keep their homes and face other forms of violence”.
The D-G expressed deep concern over the fate of youths being lured into slavery outside the country.
“Young girls and boys are being sexually exploited ,lured with promises of luxury outside only to face prostitution. One of the worst forms of human rights violation is to be sold into slavery. You can be sold to several hands”.
She called for a change of attitude towards trafficked girls.
“I want you to note that prostitutes in trafficking are victims that are sexually exploited. Normal prostitutes work and are paid. Trafficked girls should not be stigmatized. They need to be helped.
Stop thinking of only Italy when you talk of trafficking; people are trafficked to Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso and victims are not only from Edo State. Victims are from Bayelsa, Rivers and Imo states and they are sold by our brothers”.
The NAPTIP DG said some form of slavery go on even within the country. “At home, people are being trafficked. They are brothels in Bayelsa and other states being used for sexual exploitation.
Begin to investigate brothels, begin to rescue our girls. King Dakoru raised an alarm on oil workers and exploitation using our girls as sex tools. NAPTIP moved in and arrests were made.
Be vigilant. Our young ones are being taken away through the water ways. Work with groups to watch and report to NAPTIP”, she stated.
She called for the encouragement of education for young girls to secure their future against abuse.
“It has been established by the UN that women are most vulnerable especially when they are uneducated. Encourage every girl to go to school; attain adult education or skill acquisition.
Increased literacy and political representation, sit beside the men.
“It is time for women to come together and encourage women to go for political positions. We are all queens and deserve better. Look around you and sponsor those capable and able to take up positions”.
She called for more attention on the youths.
“Make our youths believe in Nigeria; be confident, timidity opens you to suppression by peers.
Talk to your children, they tell them not to tell anybody. Awareness creation is key; youths must know the dangers in migration. Libya opened our eyes to the fact that our youths are stuck all over the world. Many Nigerians are in detention camps, many being raped by security guards, giving birth to children; some buying food with sex, etc. Join hands with NAPTIP to create awareness on what is going on all over the world. Women suffer much more of the time”.
Mrs Donli raised alarm over child-trafficking in orphanages.
“There is a new trend in the South East/South South-baby trafficking, baby factory. People are selling babies every day, kidnapping young girls and engaging men to rape them to make babies they will sell.
“There are better ways of getting babies. You don’t need to buy a baby. If you do you are encouraging trafficking. Last week we arrested in Abuja someone trying to sell babies -N1million for two months olds, three months is N800,000. Sending pregnant girls out gives room for trafficking and other vices.
“Tell mothers to bring back their pregnant daughters. Don’t throw them away, you increase their vulnerability to trafficking and other vices/ Tell mothers to show them love and they will come to repentance. Initiate peace moves, adequate counseling and assist to recall a girl-child.
Know that people are being killed for organ harvesting. It is a big business in the black market-liver N1m, kidney N250,000.
“Those of you that visit orphanages watch where you go. People are using orphanages for trafficking. Find out who is there and who went through there. Hold seminars/talks on the dangers and ills of human trafficking and come up with action plans.
Life is a learning process; we also need to improve ourselves. Queens should engage in education activities, come together and plan to stop Female Genital Mutilation, FGM. Train women to know their key human rights, women’s rights must be respected. Take campaigns to waterfronts, brothels, etc., ” the MAPTIP boss suggested.