Ask an average Nigerian what human trafficking means and I am sure the first thing that will come to his or her mind is how Ibinabo or Virginia was lured, kidnapped or forcefully taken outside the country to provide sexual services to foreigners.
My dear, you are not totally wrong. However, human trafficking otherwise referred to as modern-day slavery encompasses that notion. Thus, it is important to note the following;
Firstly, it is not only women or girls who are trafficked as statistics shows that 70 percent of trafficked persons are women and girls. This means that though they are the more vulnerable group but men and boys accounts for the remaining 30 percent of the trafficking cases.
Secondly, trafficked persons are not always subjected to sexual exploitation. In some cases, they are subjected to economic exploitation such as forced labour, alms begging, drug trade, organ transplant, money laundering, and even used as ritual lambs.
Thirdly, not all trafficked persons are transported outside the country. In fact, In Nigeria, it is estimated that about 750,000 to 1 million persons are trafficked annually with over 75 per cent of those trafficked moved across the states, 23 per cent moved within the states and only 2 per cent moved outside the country. This shows that majority of the trafficking in person occurs within the country.
Fourthly, trafficking victims are not always forced or deceived into it, in some cases, the victims enter into it with clear understanding of what they are going into but with the believe that they will gain in the long run.
In some cases, people accept offers to be trafficked to other countries or regions because of lack of employment within their locality while in some other cases, poor families give out their wards to prostitution or forced labour with the aim of profiting from the venture.
Finally, it is equally important to note that the evil called human trafficking occurs in homes where children, mostly maids are maltreated and public places like restaurants, hotels, and factories etc, where people are either forcefully employed to do certain jobs for free or are underpaid for the services they render.
Now that we have succeeded in knowing what human trafficking is and the various forms in which it occurs, we can now proceed to proffer solutions to the problem.
SOLUTIONS TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN NIGERIA
Human trafficking has been discovered to be the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. It ties with the illegal arms trade as the second largest, after the drug-trade in terms of revenue generation for the perpetrators with an estimated income of $32 billion yearly. NO WONDER TRAFFICKING AND BEING TRAFFICKED HAS BECOME A NORM RATHER THAN A TABOO ESPECIALLY IN A COUNTRY WHERE COMPANIES REQUEST FOR 40 YEARS EXPERIENCE FROM 24 YEARS OLD GRADUATES, MAY BE HE HAS TO BORROW SOME FROM HIS GRANDFATHER
However, human trafficking, whether compelled or voluntary is an evil that must be stopped and I want to contribute my quota to the fight against this modern-day slavery by suggesting the following possible solutions on how to stop human trafficking in Nigeria:
1. INVESTMENT IN EDUCATION
Government should invest sufficiently in the area of education and education infrastructure as well as introduce topics to enlighten the students on human trafficking into school curriculum both at the secondary and tertiary level. This would go a long way in enlightening the people as well as make them less vulnerable to trafficking. Also parents should endeavor to maintain small sized families and give their wards minimum level of education as education remains the best legacy a parent can leave for a child.
2. RURAL ORIENTATION
NAPTIP and governmental and non-governmental organizations fighting against human trafficking in person should focus their awareness and sensitization more on the rural areas as they are the more vulnerable group. Their awareness should also be channeled towards reestablishing lost morals and values in our society.
3. EMPLOYMENT CREATION AND SKILL ACQUISITION
Government should also create jobs for the masses as a large number of the trafficked persons were lured into the act due to unemployment and poverty. Skill acquisition centers should also be established to train people on skills necessary to earn a living as well as provide the trained people with soft loans to start their businesses.
4. RESOLUTION OF CONFLICTS IN THE COUNTRY
Government should also seek for ways to minimize or eradicate the security challenges in the country so as to reduce the number of internally displaced persons and the constant destruction of the people’s businesses and property.
5. PROPER MONITORING OF HUMAN MOVEMENTS AT THE BORDERS
Government and its agencies in charge of fighting this menace should work with Immigration Services to monitor emigration and immigration patterns for evidence of trafficking in person.
6. USING THE SOCIAL MEDIA
Agencies in charge of fighting this menace should put in place Google alert so as to help them receive current human trafficking news as well as open websites, blogs and forums where issues relating to human trafficking are reported and discussed.
7. PARTNERING WITH TELECOMMUNICATION COMPANIES
Telecommunication companies should also be partnered with to send help lines to the people and encourage them to report suspected cases of child abuse, domestic servitude and other similar trafficking activities to the appropriate agencies through the help lines provided.
I strongly believe that implementation of the solutions discussed above will go a long way in helping the government and the appropriate agencies in stopping the evil of human trafficking in Nigeria.
Now that we have known that human trafficking is evil, please let us support the government in the fight against this modern-day slavery in Nigeria.
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