The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and other related offences has said that some parents display callousness by allowing their children to be trafficked in order to make money.
The agency said on Friday that the female children were mostly affected and parents thereafter raked in money and built houses while the victims continued to suffer overseas.
The NAPTIP Director-General, Julie Okah-Donli, stated this in an article made available to our correspondent to commemorate a campaign tagged, ‘Not for Sale,’ which is a partnership between the agency and the United Kingdom Government.
Okah-Donli added that going by recent experiences, most Nigerian girls are trafficked to Middle East countries such as Oman, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, with whom Nigeria has no labour agreements.
She said, “Trafficking in persons is a billion-dollar illicit business fuelled by the high demand and supply in the value chain of modern-day slavery. The majority of these victims, usually young women aged between 25 and 35 years, are deceived, made to work for up to 20 hours a day and susceptible to rape and other dehumanising treatments.
“In Nigeria, investigations carried out within endemic communities reveal that while the boys are left at home to enjoy the proceeds of the illicit business, their sisters are deceived, persuaded and forced to travel abroad for various types of exploitation. She is regarded as the remedy to the financial predicament of the family.
“Some callous parents, especially fathers, even go to the extent of using such money to marry other wives and build houses in their own names while they continue to deceive the victims. There was a worst-case scenario in the past where one of the victims was killed by her brother in order to cover up their evil deed after they misappropriated the huge amounts of money she had sent home.
“It was, therefore, a welcome development when the UK Government came out with the ‘Not for Sale’ campaign in collaboration with NAPTIP.”
Okah-Donli noted that such joint efforts were needed to fight human trafficking in the country as a task force had also been established in the 36 states to arrest traffickers.