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NAPTIP warns of increased Human Trafficking

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By Abraham Adekunle

Lagos indigenes being kidnapped and taken outside Nigeria.

Nigeria is grappling with an alarming increase in human trafficking cases, particularly involving residents of Lagos, according to Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi, Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP). The warning comes as NAPTIP officially handed over the Countering Human Trafficking Office in Lagos State to the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the agency. The office, situated at the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Agency (LNSA) headquarters in Oshodi, is a crucial initiative funded by the United States government and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, implemented in collaboration with NAPTIP and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Prof. Waziri-Azi highlighted a concerning trend, noting a significant rise in cases of Lagos State indigenes being trafficked out of Nigeria. Five years ago, such cases were nearly absent from NAPTIP’s database. However, in 2023 alone, their shelter in Lagos rescued a staggering 498 victims of human trafficking, including both Nigerians and non-Nigerians. Of particular concern were the 34 Lagos indigenes rescued from external trafficking, underscoring the urgent need for intervention. The Director-General stressed the importance of strengthening partnerships, especially with Lagos, as it has been a historical hub for both internal and external trafficking.

DG NAPTIP commends LNSA and LSTF for their collaboration.

She called for increased collaboration with the UNODC to combat human trafficking more effectively in Nigeria. Emphasizing the gravity of the situation, Prof. Waziri-Azi urged proactive measures, stating, “If we must tackle the scourge of human trafficking in Nigeria, we need to strengthen our partnership with Lagos.” Acknowledging the critical role of awareness and education, she advocated for channeling resources into prevention efforts, highlighting that early intervention, attitude changes, and awareness serve as deterrents for perpetrators.

The Director-General also commended the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Agency (LNSA) and the Lagos State Task Force on Human Trafficking for their collaborative efforts over the years, resulting in the interception, rescue, and arrest of human trafficking perpetrators. Lawal Pedro, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State, emphasized the collaborative effort as a significant milestone in the government’s fight against human trafficking. Pedro, who chairs the Lagos State Task Force on Human Trafficking, outlined the initiative’s aim to create an environment that enhances rescue, referral, and reporting between NAPTIP, the state task force, and LNSA.

UNODC country rep says they support the task forces.

Stressing the importance of addressing human trafficking at the grassroots level, he defined human trafficking as the recruitment, transport, harboring, or receipt of people through force, fraud, or deception for exploitation. Danilo Campisi, Deputy Country Representative for UNODC, highlighted their support for various State Task Forces on human trafficking, including capacity building and the provision of office equipment. He emphasized the significance of the newly established office in coordinating responses between NAPTIP, the State Task Force, and LNSA for the identification, prevention, and reporting of human trafficking cases in Lagos State.

Dr. Ifalade Oyekan, General Manager of LNSA, expressed gratitude to donors and partners for making the office’s establishment possible. He noted that the partnership with NAPTIP, initiated two years ago, aimed to strengthen the agency’s operations in combating human trafficking. With the commissioning of the new office, he anticipates strengthened operations and collaborative efforts to minimize human trafficking. U.S. Consul General in Nigeria, Mr. Will Stevens, emphasized the critical role of the newly established office in strengthening Nigeria’s response to human trafficking.

Related Article: EU to end human trafficking in Nigeria 

Recognizing the importance of consolidating efforts and expertise, he reiterated the commitment to collaboration, information sharing, and continuous improvement in anti-human trafficking efforts. As Nigeria grapples with the escalating challenge of human trafficking, the collaborative efforts of government agencies, international organizations, and the local community are crucial in addressing and curbing this heinous crime. The establishment of the Countering Human Trafficking Office in Lagos State marks a significant step forward, signaling a united front against this pervasive issue.

Related Link

US Department of State: Website

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1 month ago

NAPTIP warns of increased Human Trafficking.Lagos indigenes being kidnapped and taken outside Nigeria.  – Express your point of view.

1 month ago

Growing Human Trafficking is Warned About by NAPTIP. Nigerian citizens from Lagos are being abducted and sent abroad. That kidnapping is still occurring at this pace is truly regrettable. Since human trafficking is on the rise, I agree with NAPTIP that we should all exercise caution in our surroundings.

1 month ago

rising number of incidences of human trafficking, especially involving Lagos citizens, The warning coincides with the official transfer of the Countering Human Trafficking Office in Lagos State by NAPTIP to the agency’s Anti-Human Trafficking Unit. cooperation to better combat human trafficking in Nigeria by partnership with the UNODC

1 month ago

The surge in human trafficking cases, especially involving Lagos residents, is deeply concerning. The warning from NAPTIP underscores the gravity of the situation. The collaborative efforts with international partners and local agencies, such as the new Countering Human Trafficking Office, are vital steps towards addressing this issue. It’s crucial that these joint efforts intensify to curb human trafficking and protect our citizens from exploitation.

Adeoye Adegoke
1 month ago

That’s really concerning to hear. Human trafficking is a serious issue that needs urgent attention. It’s heartbreaking to know that Lagos indigenes are being kidnapped and taken outside of Nigeria. The government and organizations like NAPTIP play a crucial role in raising awareness about this issue and taking measures to combat human trafficking. It’s important for communities to come together, support each other, and stay vigilant to prevent such heinous acts. We must all work towards creating a safe and secure environment for everyone. If there’s anything we can do to spread awareness or support the efforts against human trafficking, let’s do it.