The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons has revealed that promising young men and women of Nigeria are being auctioned as slaves for as low as $400 (N144,000) per person in Libya.
Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli made this known yesterday in Calabar, the Cross River State capital at the workshop to develop a Protocol for identification, safe return and rehabilitation of trafficked persons.
She said trafficking in persons has evolved into shocking new dimensions evident in the news coming from Libya where young Nigerians among other Africans were sold as slaves.
Okah-Donli said this ugly trend prompted by Federal Government to immediately order the evacuation of its citizens desirous of coming home.
She lamented that the evil of irregular migration and the disturbing trend in human trafficking could not be overemphasized, calling for concerted efforts to avert the inhuman and criminal act.
She further disclosed that large numbers of Nigerian women are currently trapped in Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Ghana, Togo, Benin Republic, Niger, Burkina Faso, Morrocco, Libya and many countries in Europe being subjected to s3xual and labour exploitations.
She said the presence of large numbers of such Nigerians in desperate conditions in these countries has become a problem to Nigerian missions abroad.
The NAPTIP boss, said the Protocol being developed was to ensure the safe return of the trafficked victims, saying returning to their country of origin is often a difficult process because they face psychological, health, legal, documentation and financial problems.
She said many victims also have problems in reintegrating with their families and communities.
She explained that the overall goal of the Protocol was to prevent re-trafficking and to grow a community of survivors of trafficking who could play a vital role in the economic and social development of their communities, states and the country at large.
The Governor of River State, Professor Ben Shade, who was represented by the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of the State, Joseph Abang, expressed commitment of his administration towards ensuring that human trafficking is reduced to the barest minimum if not completely.
He vowed that anyone caught in the State to have been involved in human trafficking would be prosecuted, stressing that the growing trend of irregular migration was worrisome.