Continuous efforts have been made by the government in fighting the scourge of human trafficking. As a global problem, the government needs concerted efforts by all and sundry including non-governmental agencies and international bodies if results must be achieved in combating human trafficking.
One effort of the government in fighting human trafficking is the establishment of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Person (NAFTIP)
This is a federal government agency charged, with the responsibility of fighting the scourge of trafficking in persons in Nigeria and its attendant to human abuses in its entire ramification. The National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP) came into being on the 26th of August, 2003.
To effectively tackle the problems associated with trafficking in persons, Section 4 of the law, inter alia, vests In NAPTIP the following functions:
1. Coordinate all laws on trafficking in persons and related offences. The law prescribed ten years imprisonment for the trafficking of children and forced begging or hawking and ten years of life imprisonment for sexual enslavement. etc.
2. To adopt measures to increase the effectiveness of eradication of trafficking in persons.
3. Tb adopt witness protection measures.
4. To enhance the effectiveness of law enforcement agents to suppress traffic in persons.
5. To establish proper communication channels, conduct research and work on improving international cooperation in the suppression of traffic in persons; by land, sea and air.
6. To reinforce and supplement measures in bilateral and multilateral treaties and conventions on traffic in persons.
7. To work in collaboration with other agencies or bodies that may ensure the elimination and prevention of the root causes of the problem of traffic in any person.
8. To strengthen and enhance effective legal means for international cooperation in criminal matters for suppressing the international activities of traffic in person.
9. To strengthen cooperation between the Attorney General of the Federation, Nigeria Police, Nigeria Immigration Services, Nigeria Customs Services, Nigeria Prison Services, Welfare Officials and all other agencies in the eradication of traffic in person.
10. To take charge, supervise, control and coordinate the rehabilitation of trafficked persons.
11. They coordinate law enforcement, protection and preventive initiative of the various levels of Government and Non-Governmental Organisations working in this area, Another agency that has helped to fight trafficking in person is the Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF).
This is a non-governmental organization initiated and founded by Mrs Amina Titi Atiku Abubakar, the wife of the former Vice-President of Nigeria in 1999 and registered in April 2000 as an Incorporated Trusteeship under the Nigeria Law with the Corporate Affairs Commission with a registration number.
The organization is committed to building an international coalition that restores human dignity through empowerment, capacity building, and advocacy. WOTCLEF works towards the eradication of trafficking in persons, child labour, and violent abuses of the rights of women and children.
WOTCLEF aims to reach a wide range of people, from survivors of trafficking to high-level policymakers, and therefore considers itself in a position to encourage and advocate for change across the full spectrum of society.
ACTIVITIES OF WOTCLEF
WOTCLEF engages in a diverse range of strategies designed to achieve the organization’s mandate. These strategies include:
1. Provides Succour to Trafficked Victims: WOTLEF help in providing trafficked people with counselling and other services to help them successfully reintegrate into society.
2. Provides Education to Trafficked Victims: The organization also help in providing primary, secondary and tertiary education assistance to economically poor students.
3. Provides Rehabilitation Centers: WOTCLEF also runs a rehabilitation centre that offers lodging, protection, school assistance, meals, and vocational training to victims of trafficking.
4. Provides Training Programme: WOTCLEF helps in providing training programmes for youth in life skills, empowerment, confidence and character.
5. Developing training materials, conducting research id publishing best practices has been a major landmark of the organization, as it is committed to building an international coalition that restores human dignity through empowerment, education and advocacy.
6. Voluntary Testing and Counseling: WOTCLEF runs a voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) programme for trafficked victims.
7. Campaigning against Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation: WOTCLEF conducts widespread counter-trafficking campaigns which include workshops, seminars, conferences, state-by-state campaign tours, media advocacy and musical concerts.
Through the enactment of laws, the government has also shown serious concern in fighting the scourge of human trafficking. The 2003 Trafficking in Persons Law Enforcement and Administration Act (amended in 2005) is a good’’ example. This law is aimed at increasing punishment and/or penalties for trafficking offenders and prohibits all forms of human trafficking.