NAPTIP warns Nigerians against use of underage housemaids

By Aderogba George
 The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has warned Nigerians against the use of underage housemaids, saying such practice is an offence before the law.
The agency’s Director of Legal and Prosecution, Mr Hassan Tahir, gave the warning whilespeaking with  the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.
He gave the advice on the backdrop of employers of domestic workers, who sometimes have challenges with their employees, to the extent of inflicting injuries on the workers.
Tahir said that Section 23 of the Trafficking in Persons Act (TIP) seriously condemned the employment of a child as a domestic worker, saying such is an offence before the law.
The director quoted Section 23 of the TIP Act as saying “any person who willfully  employs, requests, recruits, transports, harbours, receives or hires out a child as a domestic worker commits an offence and is liable to conviction of imprisonment for a minimum term of 6 months, and not exceeding 7 years”.
He, however, advised that if anyone was willing to have a house help, be it underage or not, such a person must ensure that such was treated fairly.
According to him, the house help must be sleeping in the same room where the kids of the master are sleeping, and that the domestic worker must also be attending the same school with the kids of the master.
“The domestic worker must attend the same school with your children, eat the same food with your children, wear the same cloth with your children, he or she must be treated equally with your children.
“There could be a situation whereby you employ a child and at the same time inflict injury on him or her, if you want to violate their right, please don’t do that, and if certainly you do, NAPTIP will do the needful.
“NAPTIP has been sensitising the general public, creating awareness, educating people about use of human for trafficking, particularly on the issue of employing somebody as a domestic worker.
“Employment of an underage as a domestic worker is a serious offence, violators risks going to jail for 7 years, that is the position of the law, that is the position of the trafficking Act,” he said.
He pleaded with states, yet to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act, to do so, stressing that there were more states yet to domesticate the act.
According to him, domestication of the VAPP Act by all states in Nigeria will make the country to have a common front, a common ground and fight domestic violence in the country.
He called on Nigerians experiencing domestic violence to report to NAPTIP, adding that the door of the agency was always open. (NAN)