THE National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) Command in Osogbo says it has rescued 152 victims of human trafficking between 2017 and now.
Mrs Kehinde Akomolafe, the agency’s Osogbo Zonal Commander made this known during the 2019 World Day against Human Trafficking programme on Tuesday in Osogbo.
Komolafe, who was represented by Mr Semire Famojuro, the Head Administrative Unit, explained that the zone, which covers Osun, Kwara, Ekiti and Ondo states, received 72 human trafficking cases from May 2017 till date.
She said between the period under review, 152 victims, made up of 113 females and 39 males were rescued and that 98 suspects, consisting of 40 females and 58 males were arrested.
“Nine cases of suspected trafficking are also ongoing at various Federal High courts within the states under the command,” Komolafe said.
She attributed the successes to collaborative support from stakeholders including- Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), International Partners, law enforcement agencies, traditional and community leaders and the media among others.
She explained that the purpose of the celebration was to create awareness on the dangers and criminal activities of human traffickers.
She said the traffickers, who lack human feelings, exploit their victims and subject them to untold hardships for their selfish gains.
“The fight against Traffic in Persons (TIP) needs to be intensified in the South-West because TIP in this zone is known to be endemic and that NAPTIP was working vigorously to make the environment uncomfortable for traffickers,” he said.
Mrs Omolara Ajayi, the Permanent Secretary, Osun Ministry of Women, Children and Social Affairs, while speaking said the state government in collaboration with NAPTIP had carried out numerous sensitisation programmes on the ills of human trafficking.
Ajayi said radio programmes, sensitisation talks and lectures with vulnerable groups (such as school pupils) and empowerment programmes for vulnerable groups had been put in place to curb the menace of human trafficking in the state.
She, however, called on stakeholders and religious organisations to play their specific and significant roles in waging war against human trafficking.