RMTIMESNG-Observers have noted that human trafficking has become a global menace overtime, while Nigeria is still grappling with the burden of how to curtail the inhuman treatment by unscrupulous elements profiting from the business.
They agreed that many dreams have been shattered or killed entirely, especially among the female folks who innocently walk into the trap of human traffickers in the guise of seeking for greener pasture.
Tim Galvin, the British Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, said issues around human trafficking have become global phenomenon and regarded as international crime.
Galvin noted that the fight against trafficking in women and children would be achieved if government agencies from different countries
He, however, pledged the continuous support of the UK Government to assist Nigeria in achieving more results toward the fight against human trafficking.
Meanwhile, sequel to the many dangers associated with human trafficking, the Federal Government in 2003 deemed it fit to set up the National Agency for the
Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) with the sole responsibility of checking the menace.
The agency is saddled with the responsibility of checking trans-border crime against humanity such as human trafficking, slavery, sexual offences, child labour, among others.
To curtail the menace, NAPTIP moved to establish partnership with International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).
ICMPD brought the idea of mainstreaming Trafficking in Persons (TIP) issues into the basic school curricular; this was to tackle the issue of TIP right from young age.
It was dubbed “catch them young”; thereby making the young ones to know the negative issues associated with trafficking of human beings abroad.
The ICMPD started the mainstreaming by first of all infusing TIP issue into teachers’ guide of the National Certificate of Education (NCE) minimum standard.
The idea was to empower students from colleges of education who are going to be teaching the basic school pupils, the aims and purpose of the agenda.
The TIP issues is to make stakeholders with sympathy for humanity to speak about the dangers of human trafficking at different fora.
Prof. Chinwe Obaji, former Minister of Education, noted that “the introduction of TIP into school curricular is a veritable tool for social reform that will guide students from being trafficked.’’
Obaji made this known at a workshop tagged “training of the trainers’’ organised for lecturers of colleges of education in Lafia, Nasarawa State.
She stated that TIP was one of the most lucrative but dangerous crimes globally, noting that teachers remained critical components toward educating students on the dangers of the menace.
The don said that the Federal Ministry of Education under the present administration initiated education strategic intervention plan with a road map for educational development based on 10 pillars.
She explained that “the mandate of the 10 pillars of the education road map included revamping the basic education sector, education data and curriculum planning, as well as improving the quality of teachers’ education.’’
According to her, improving the country’s quality of education requires competent teachers that can handle emerging issues in educational institutions and the society among which is the TIP issue.
She said that “recognising and educating the child to competently face today and tomorrow’s environment with appreciable success was crucial to taming the tide of human trafficking.’’
Obaji urged lecturers at the workshop to be guided by the national education strategic plan geared toward quality and funtional education.
Piqued by the menace of human trafficking in the country, the Minister of Education, Alhaji Adamu Adamu, expressed concern over the level of the scourge, noting that “the situation is of great concern to Federal Government.’’
Adamu said that the training of teachers would assist in tackling the issue of human trafficking from the root by teaching the teachers strategies and information that would be imparted in pupils to avoid being victims.
According to the minister, the issue is affecting the society, and children are at the receiving end because of ignorance.
He affirmed that such measures such as training the teachers would assist in giving them the requisite knowledge to terminate its escalation before it gets out of control.
He said “if teachers are trained, they will also teach the children in schools so that they can have the knowledge on methods used by traffickers and also know how to avoid being trafficked.’’
The minister said that human trafficking topics had been introduced in primary and secondary school curriculum and had started yielding results.
Prof. Bappah Muhammadu-Aliyu, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) observed that victims of human trafficking were not just illiterate members of the society.
He noted that people who became victims of human trafficking were largely people who were ignorant or greedy.
He stated that NAPTIP and ICMPD in their quest to address the scourge of human trafficking approached NCCE to explore ways and means of equipping children and youths in formal education.
This, according to him, should come with relevant knowledge and skills to invade human trafficking and permanently put the issue to rest.
According to him, upon this, the commission mainstreamed TIP issues into the content of the NCE minimum standards.
He explained that having the content of TIP issues into the minimum standards was one thing, but having content effectively taught was quite another.
He stated that this attempt would further reduce the current trend in human trafficking in the country.
However, in a move which suggested that NAPTIP was not resting on its oars to tackle human trafficking headlong, the Director-General of the agency, Mrs Julie Okah-Donli, urged stakeholders to put more effort toward the fight against trafficking in women and children.
According to her, the support of stakeholders will help in upgrading the country from the position of Tier 2 Watch List to Tier 1 Watch List.
The U.S. Department of States Trafficking in Persons Report in June 2017 ranked Nigeria as Tier 2 country in terms of human trafficking.
Okah-Donli, however, stated that the country’s hope was to become a Tier 1 country where the menace would highly be reduced.
She said that her yarning was to sustain efforts toward tackling human trafficking, stressing that NAPTIP hoped to do more before the next reporting cycle to upgrade the country to Tier 1.
She said “we must, therefore, increase the tempo of our current efforts to keep hope alive in support of our vulnerable women and children across the nation.”
Ms Elisabeth Bayes of the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), said that the organisation would strive to sustain partnership with NAPTIP toward ending trafficking in women and children.
She said that UNODC would continue to support NAPTIP with its Policy, Prevention, Protection and Prosecution (4Ps) working systems.
“This is our methodology in the fight against human trafficking. We will assist NAPTIP to bring to an end this menace.
“At the moment, we are focusing on prevention, NAPTIP has been our co-partner, and we are here in the country as facilitators to support the country.’’