By Bukola Adetoye
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) says no fewer than 25,000 trafficked Nigerian women and girls are trapped in Mali.
The Commander of the Benin Zone of NAPTIP, Mr Nduka Nwanwenne, gave the figure on Tuesday at a workshop organised for media professionals in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop was to develop capacities of the participants in creating awareness on the dangers of human trafficking.
It was organised by NAPTIP in collaboration with FIIAPP – International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies – and Action Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Nigeria (A-TIPSOM)
“NAPTIP investigation on this category of victims revealed that they were attracted to Malian men because they spend more money on women compared to Nigerian men.
“The second major reason is that Malian men are proud of sleeping with women from Nigeria, the giant of Africa,” he said.
The zonal commander said that the agency convicted 604 human traffickers and arrested over 9,102 suspected human traffickers from 2004 to May 2023.
He added that NAPTIP rescued about 20,660 Nigerian victims of human trafficking within the period.
He said that the rescued victims passed through the agency’s shelter for rehabilitation.
According to him, a total of 12, 291 cases was reported during the period.
The Director-General of NAPTIP, Mrs Fatima Waziri-Azi, said that the essence of the workshop was to draw more attention of media professionals to the ugly trend of human trafficking with a view to creating more awareness on the dangers.
She added that the workshop was aimed at creating awareness on ‘the callousness of travellers, the dilemma of protection officers, and the need for decisiveness of the judiciary in handling the cases arising from the abuse’.
The team lead for FIIAPP and A-TIPSOM, Mr Federico Millan, a Spanish police officer, said that the media had a major role to play in information management.
“Prevention is important in tackling human trafficking, and the media is a major channel for creating awareness and protecting victims,” Millan said.
NAPTIP) was created on July 14, 2003 by the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act.(NAN