The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) said it rescued 17,443 trafficked persons while 502 persons were convicted since the agency began operations in 2003.
This was disclosed by the Benin Zonal Commander of the agency, Nduka Nwannwennem at a sensitisation programme on Thursday in Ologbo in the Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo state.
He said, “The advocacy programme, which would be carried out in two other communities in Edo, was in collaboration with the lawmaker representing Bekwarra/Ogbudu/Obanliku Federal Constituency of Cross River State, Mr Legor Idagbo.”
“The essence of the advocacy was to seek the collaboration of traditional institutions to combat the scourge of human trafficking in the state and across the country.
“Traffickers always come under the guise of helping the victims to seek better opportunities abroad.
“The victims, who are mostly transported abroad through illegal and dangerous means, are often left traumatised with their experiences, while others die before they get to their destination.”
He said, “NAPTIP has rescued 17,443 trafficked persons since inception in 2003, while 502 persons have been convicted. The reason for this advocacy today is to create the awareness on the dangers of illegal migration and that of human trafficking, because most victims have claimed ignorance before embarking on the journey.
“The traffickers come to the victims with the belief that Europe or their destination is where you pick money on the streets, only to end up being used as slaves, prostitutes or drug peddlers.
“It will interest you to know that the victims do not benefit from this menace as much as the traffickers. This is why we have come to our traditional rulers and parents, to let you know that we must all come together to stop this menace. Let’s spread the news against human trafficking in our communities,” he added.
“Twenty states, including Edo, have set up task force against human trafficking and illegal migration, while urging the remaining states to do same.”
The Aigedion of Benin Kingdom, Chief Godspower Irorere on behalf of the chiefs, said, “The advocacy was an eye opener and urged the agency to carry out more of it across the state.”