OrderPaperToday – As Nigeria joins the rest of the global community to commemorate the 2020 International Day against Human Trafficking (IDAHT), the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has called for the uprooting of the root causes and drivers of trafficking.
The body also asked for more sensitization and speedy trial of human trafficking cases so as to tackle the disturbing malaise which is a major violation of human rights.
The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Tony Ojukwu, stated this in Abuja to mark the occasion which is observed annually on 30th of July.
He emphasized that there is need for diligent prosecution, curtailing delay tactics by defense counsel in courts, empowerment of rural households and communities, and education of girl child.
The NHRC boss also flayed the nonchalant attitude of some members of the public towards the illicit trade which have unfortunately combined to pose a serious challenge in bringing perpetrators of human trafficking to book.
Ojukwu disclosed that the theme of this year’s celebration, “Committed to the cause-working on the frontline to end human trafficking” is very apt because it recognizes the efforts and sacrifices of human rights defenders towards addressing human trafficking which is a serious global problem.
“This year’s theme which focuses on the first responders to human trafficking is therefore challenging all human rights defenders, particularly the law enforcement agencies, frontline Ministries, Departments and Agencies like, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Women Affairs, NHRC, the Police, the Judiciary, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and Nigerians in Diaspora Commission etc. to double their efforts in tackling issues of human trafficking and other related criminalities to ensure that people’s rights are not violated”, the Executive Secretary said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Commission expressed concern that despite the efforts of the federal government (through NAPTIP) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to contain human trafficking, Nigeria remains a source, transit and destination of human trafficking as released by the latest Global Slavery Index (2018), making Nigeria to rank 32 out of 167 countries with the highest number of trafficked slaves.