Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Julie Okah-Donli, at the weekend, painted a gory picture of how human traffickers take advantage of irregular migration to service their clients with vital human organs.
She said the illegal migrants most of whom are from local communities and uninformed are lured with non-existing and unrealistic promises and opportunities in Europe and Middle East countries, and they end up being victims of human trafficking, sexual assault and other human right abuses.
Speaking at an award night to mark the end of a week-long event to commemorate 2019 World Day against human trafficking in Abuja, the NAPTIP DG said the illegal migrants are most affected because of their vulnerability, in addition to the fact that their travel records and information are most times, not correct.
She said: “Human traffickers, with the aide of their accomplices take advantage of the situation. Before the victims are trafficked, their real identities are changed and it’s properly reflected on their travel documents.
“So, when they are involved in life-threatening challenges along the way or get drowned in the Mediterranean, no one gets to ask proper questions on their true identity, neither will their family members identify them because they are given fake identity.
“Their vital human organs are then harvested by the human traffickers to service the need of their clients across the world. Interestingly, the act is not restricted to people involved in accidents. Those who migrated illegally to different other countries have been victims too. Unfortunately, they are not alive to tell the story.”
She recalled an incident few weeks ago when an online advert from Abu Dhabi was trending on social media, calling for application from young Nigerian drivers and other domestic workers.
“Immediately, we saw it, we suspected that it was traffickers at work because Nigeria never had bilateral labour agreement with Oman. We acted swiftly to protect innocent Nigerians from being victims of such evil act.
“We did ‘disruptive action’ and arrested the people at a hotel in Lagos where they were operating. In the course of investigations, we discovered that the applicants were charged N15, 000, as registration fee.”
She appealed to Nigerians to be careful and aware of different tricks being used by human traffickers to lure innocent victims.
She suggested that parents adopt birth control practices, so that they can produce children they can adequately carter for, and not rely on anyone to train their children.