NAPTIP DG, Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP has given all organizations, Shelters and Homes, offering services for the purpose of rehabilitation of trafficked persons in Nigeria one-month ultimatum to obtain clearance certificates to operate in the country or risk shut down and prosecution in accordance with the Agency’s extant laws.
The Director-General of NAPTIP, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi at a meeting with a segment of the Agency’s stakeholders said the ultimatum will take effect on the 29th of June this year.
She said the Regulations, 2019Trafficking in person (Control of Activities of Organizations and Centers) is in place to ensure that labour recruitment, travel agents, tour operations, and operators of shelters and homes offering services for the rehabilitation of trafficked persons conduct their businesses within the ambit of the law and by extension stem the dreadful trend of human trafficking.
According to her, the legislation was necessitated by the disturbing cases of trafficking in persons by Nigerians, under the guise of educational, cultural, and musical excursions; labour migration; and sporting-related travels to foreign counties, especially the Middle East, Eastern, and Central Europe
The Director-General also states that the agency was closing in on some travel agents and tour operators involved in the recruitment of Nigerians for labor outside Nigeria, educational excursions, cultural, music excursions and competitions with children outside the country without obtaining the requisite clearance certificates from NAPTIP.
Explaining the rationale for the ultimatum, she said unscrupulous persons hide under the façade of being a travel agents, tour operators, or recruiters of labour to deceive, defraud, and lure naïve victims to foreign countries for the purpose of exploitation which takes the form of sexual exploitation, forced labour, debt bondage, slavery and removal of organs.
Reporting by Niran Odufayo, Editing by Marian Benjamin