The National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) has raised an alarm of Nigerians dying in Sahara desert and Mediterranean due to trafficking.
Director General of the agency, Julie Okah-Donli who revealed this during the inauguration of the state task force on human trafficking in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state said over 20,000 Nigerians were victims of trafficking in Mali alone in 2018.
She noted that the issue of human trafficking and irregular migration have become a great concern especially with the great number of Nigerians trapped in sexual and labour exploitation in various African and European countries.
“Last year reports emerged about the existence of human farms in some parts of Libya where black African migrants are allegedly kept in cages like animals and their organs like eyes, kidneys and lungs are harvested to service medical sectors of Europe.
“In December 2018, NAPTIP undertook a fact finding mission to Mali. The report of the mission painted a very poor picture of more than 20,000 young Nigerian girls who are victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation in bush camps around Mali’s mine fields.”
“In the first week of March 2019, I personally followed up with a visit to Mali and saw girls as young as 14 years held in sexual slavery in very horrendous conditions.”
The NAPTIP DG who further revealed that 292 indigenes of Ebonyi state who were subjected to child abuse child labour, sexual exploitation and sale of babies have been rescued from Izzi, Ezza, Ikwo, Afikpo North and South, Onicha, Ohaozara, Ishielu, Abakaliki, Ivo, and Ishielu LGAs between 2004 to July 2020, added that the International Organization of Migration (IOM) has returned 11 indigenes of the state (9 females and 2 males) from various parts of the world.
Okah-Donli also stated that employing a child under 12 years have been outlawed by the constitution.