The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other Related Matters (NAPTIP) revealed its Lagos Zonal Office has rescued 281 persons trafficked between Jan. and July.
The agency further disclosed that it reunited 252 victims of human trafficking with their families after conducting a surveillance and investigation on their families. Commander, Lagos Zone, Mr. Joseph Famakin made these known in an interview on Tuesday in Lagos.
“We have rescued 281 victims of human trafficking from January till date. We have also reunited 252 victims with their families after conducting a surveillance and investigation about their families. The agency must ensure that the victims are going back to the right people to avoid such a situation again,” he saidFamakin said that NAPTIP Shelter where rescued victims were kept for rehabilitation had ensured that they were re-integrated into the society. “The shelter is the first place where the victims are received. After they had settled down, they go through the three R’s of Rescue: Rehabilitation and Reintegration. We have competent care givers available at the shelter that take them through all the process,” he told NAN. Famakin further added that the agency had a Victims Trust Fund that enabled it to empower victims after graduating from different skills acquisition centers.“We now have the Victim Trust Fund and the agency now generates funds to enable it empower the victims after going through the three R’s. We have competent care givers from all fields that take care of all these. We also ask the victims what they want to do after the counseling process. We have victims that have returned to schools; the agency takes responsibilities of all the bills and we have some that showed interest in skills acquisition.
We don’t give money to victims directly, we look for shops, pay the rent, equip the place and watch them for at least two years to enable them completely erase their tragic experiences,” he said. He reiterated the agency’s resolve to continue to create public awareness through the media across the country on efforts to curb the menace. The strategies,according to him are public enlightenment, campaign in schools, town hall meetings and jingles in the media.
“NAPTIP in a bid to curb human trafficking and other forms of sexual exploitation has increased awareness creation in all parts of the country through the internet, social media and other forms of communication. We are engaging our stakeholders via social media, educating people on the dangers of human trafficking as well as the tricks employed by traffickers to lure their victims. There have been town hall meetings with various sectors of the community as well as massive collaboration with NGOs and security agencies,” he concluded