Human Trafficking is one of the oldest professions for people whose aim and goal is to control and exploit others for their selfish ends,with fake assurances and promises of a better life and future for their unsuspecting victims thereby luring them into modern day slavery.
“Human trafficking is an endemic global problem. Estimates reveal that as many as 27 million people are enslaved worldwide. According to the most recent data, human trafficking is a $32 billion industry. It is the third most lucrative criminal enterprise, surpassed only by drugs and arms trafficking”-Meleena.M.Bowers
Trafficking in persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad because of the quest for a better life and almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. This is sad but very true,on a daily basis and in many countries, people are being bought, sold, and smuggled like modern-day slaves. And the paramount among this type of trafficking apart from child labour is sex trafficking!
Sex trafficking includes commercial sexual exploitation of children, as well as every instance where an adult is in the sex trade as a result of force, fraud, or coercion. Sex trafficking occurs within numerous venues in the broader sex industry, commonly found in street prostitution, online escort services, residential brothels, and brothels disguised as massage businesses.
Our women and children are trapped in lives of misery—often beaten, starved, and forced to work as prostitutes or to take grueling jobs as migrant, domestic, restaurant, or factory workers with little or no pay,most times being infected with deadly diseases like HIV/AIDS and other STDs.
They are seen scattered all over the world, engages in this criminal acts without knowing most times what they were going into.
Most of this traffickers most times smuggles out their victims by any route possible without considering the effects .
According to reports from the Italian news media on friday,July 26th,it was learnt that about ” thirty-one migrants, including nine women, drowned off the coast of Libya during an attempted crossing to Italy as told by survivors who managed to complete the journey.
A dinghy carrying 53 migrants capsized on Friday evening, and witnesses said 31 of those who had been thrown off it drowned in the accident. Some of them are believed to be Nigerians.
The twenty-two survivors, who come from Nigeria, Gambia, Benin and Senegal, said the dinghy had capsized after three days at sea. They were rescued by a passing merchant ship and taken to Lampedusa Island, the reports said”.
31 souls lost like that for no just cause, without their families and friends,most times knowing their whereabouts .
The routes taken by people smuggled out of Nigeria are only
sketchily known, and vary considerably as the traffickers constantly alter their arrangements to evade law enforcement agencies.
The victims may travel by air, road and sea to reach their destinations. Trafficking victims are often hidden in plain sight, voiceless and scared and the experience often times takes a toll on their personal and psychological life and their behaviours in the society
Nigeria as a country in recent times had been waging wars aimed at eradicating human trafficking within its borders, there is much more that can and should be done. The prominent factors which combines to create conditions for human trafficking includes amongst others,lack of awareness and campaigns corruption,poverty,gender discrimination,and violence against women etc.
Nigerian Government can go a long way in drastically reducing Human trafficking by waging war against poverty,corruption and alternatively providing jobs and employment opportunities for our teeming unemployed youths out there,setting up skills acquisation, empowerment and educational programmes for our women as this will greatly reduce the needs for our youths especially the women to seek for employment and educational opportunities outside our shores thereby falling into the hands of this traffickers. Moreover, Victims of trafficking should be encouraged to sign up and be rehabilitated .This will lead to increased opportunities for economic advancement within the country. Activities and operations of this traffickers should be monitored and the offenders prosecuted if found by law enforcement agencies,this will greatly reduce their illegal activities and subsequent closure or moving to other territories.
The Government of Nigeria should also enact laws that will safeguard the rights of women,implement programmes that aimed at increasing their status in the society and involve them also in government and political offices to be active participants in the running of the affairs of the country.
“The traffic of human beings must end. We need to stop the merchants of death. The United Nations Organisaton says thousands of people have drowned in recent years trying to reach Italian shores and 40 have died so far this year.
Let us as Human Right Activists and other well meaning Nigerians and organisations come together and lift up our voices high and say NO to this human trafficking which is destroying the lives of our youths everyday.
Nmah Gracious Grace
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