The Ekiti State Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has rescued minors, it said were being used for prostitution in some parts of the state, as part of the result of its activities to revive the child welfare and anti-human trafficking activities in the command.
The service said the girls were among 16 children its operatives rescued in the state from the various places where they were being used as labourers instead of their being in school.
The Comptroller in Ekiti, Mrs Oluremi Talabi, who disclosed this while speaking in her office in Ado Ekiti, said the Ekiti command was able to break the ring in the operations of of its men and officers in the last four months.
Mrs Talabi said “the sad thing is that people are going beyond eeven child labour in the engagement of these children. They are using them for prostitution.”
The Ekiti NIS boss said “when children are trafficked, they are transported illegally and they are subjected to inhuman treatment because they know they can’t come out. Within this year alone, we have rescued 16 children from where they were being used for hard labour.
According to her, only one of the 16 rescued children, aged between five and 14, was a boy, and explained that some of them were brought from South South states and that the rescued children had been re-united with their parents and guardians.
“When they are supposed to be in school, they would be found washing plates, doing sorts of hard work and probably will be the last to go to bed. We will keep fighting this until we record all round success.”
Talabi, who spoke while he received Mr Donald Boots and his wife, Gertrude from The Netherlands, with their children, Joshua (Oluwashola) and Victor (Ayoola), adopted from Ekiti in 2005, said the NIS in Ekiti had set its sight at strengthening its anti-human trafficking unit for the well-being of minors.
The Boots had visited the state with their adopted children, Joshua, 18, and Victor, 14, were adopted on October 13, 2015 and taken to Netherland after the death of their mother.
The Boots family members were led to the NIS by the Director, Social Welfare in the state’s Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender Empowerment and Social Development, Dr Ayodele Ibikunle.
Ibikunle said a total of 60 children from Ekiti State had been adopted to Sweden and The Netherlands, saying the Boots’ visit would help in erasing some of the misgivings about adoption of children.
He said the officials of the ministry encountered hurdles by security agencies in their bid to give children out for adoption, even after fulfilling all legal requirements.
Ibikunle said: “We have had terrible experiences where we were accused of selling th ese children.”