By Irodia Lucky
he fight against human trafficking requires both national and global actions to combat the menace. In Nigeria, certain modalities should be put in place to compliment efforts by the federal and state governments in the fight against human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a crime that has bedeviled the country Nigeria. The rate of human trafficking is on the increase due to the way it is been fought against in the country. Several times we hear and see victims of human trafficking rescued without the arrest or mention of the perpetrators. The hear of victims being flown back from Libya and other trafficking routes without much being said about their captors. Until the fight against human trafficking is extended beyond just rescuing of victims, the menace will continue.
The fight against human trafficking requires both national and global actions to combat the menace. In Nigeria, certain modalities should be put in place to compliment efforts by the federal and state governments in the fight against human trafficking. The necessity for closer cooperation and collaboration between Nigeria and other countries to nip the crime in the bud cannot be underestimated.
Most times the government remembers that skill acquisition is necessary only when the victims of human trafficking are repatriated to the country. The payment of stipends by some State governments to victims of human trafficking is a gross departure from the solution to the problem of human trafficking. Rather it encourages the youths to willingly submit themselves as ‘victims’ of human trafficking The Federal and State governments should create enabling environments for entrepreneurship for citizens though skill acquisition training that will accommodate a large number of youths and unemployed, especially females, who are mostly affected, to be self-reliant and dependent so that the thought of leaving the country for a ‘greener pasture’ would not be nursed
In addition, the legislation on human trafficking should be more severe and drastic to offenders. Traffickers should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Arrested traffickers should be shown on national and other television station just as it is done to armed robbers and kidnappers .the law should also stretch its arms to victim of human trafficking who I term as ‘willing victims’. Anyone above 18 years who leaves the shores of the country through trafficking means should be allowed to face the law of the country they find themselves when arrested by the government of such country.
Furthermore, anyone who is repatriated who is ‘a willing victim’ should not be given any special treatment or skill acquisition. Most of the willing victims sold valuable properties to raise money for the ‘white goose chase’. In fact, most of them become angry and see it as a loss of ‘investment’ when repatriated. Therefore, nothing the State or Federal government can do to satiate avarice. This will make human trafficking non-profitable and less interesting to traffickers and ‘willing victims’
More so, the governments should address the issue of massive unemployment by creating job opportunities at both state and federal levels. Gainful employment will reduce the rate of involvement of youths, especially female in human trafficking. The government should make the country attractive to citizens, especially the youths through qualitative education, and provision of social infrastructures which often constitute the push factor for immigration.
The media is a veritable weapon in the fight against human trafficking. The populace should be sensitized through the media on the dangers of human trafficking and to be wary of traffickers who come with promise of big jobs abroad. The sensitization shouldn’t only be in English language. All the major languages in Nigeria, including our ‘second lingua franca’ (pidgin English), should be used.
In schools, Anti-Human Trafficking Clubs should be created to sensitize pupils and students on the dangers of human trafficking right from their early stage. The pupils and students in such clubs are to be given the opportunity to use the media for the campaign against human trafficking.
Finally, religious bodies as well should lend their voice in condemning the act of human trafficking through their sermon and preaching. The traditional rulers should use their influential positions to reach the grassroots and sensitize their subjects on the consequences of human trafficking.
Irodia Lucky is a Public Affairs Analyst.