The Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Julie Okah-Donli, has revealed that at least 25,000 Nigerians have been held in slave and sex camps in Libya.
The NAPTIP boss mentioned this while defending the agency’s 2018 budget before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on Tuesday, December 19.
Okah-Donli stated that out of the figure, about 5000 of the victims were repatriated within the period.
“A large number of Nigerians have also been returned from other countries in Europe and Africa.
“All these people need to be properly received, profiled and assisted.
“NAPTIP has been working in conjunction with other governmental and non-governmental agencies such as NEMA, International Organisation for Migration and others to provide help to these unfortunate Nigerians,” she said.
The anti-trafficking agency boss decried that in spite of the evils of human trafficking not so much attention was beamed on the menace.
The NAPTIP director general stated that the current trend which marked the resurgence of the slave trade was more worrisome and required the attention it deserved.
According to Okah-Donli, the job before NAPTIP is huge, while budgetary allocations have been relatively low.
“It is my honour and privilege to raise a cry for help in this hallowed chamber on behalf of the most vulnerable members of the society, especially women and children.
“In recent months the odious and perverse consequences of human trafficking and irregular migration were forcefully brought to our television screens with gory tales,” she said.
Okah-Donli stated that if human slave trade was to be decreased or eliminated, so much public awareness, as well as, behavioural change campaigns must be sustained from the grassroots to the national level.
In addition, she stated that a large number of victims of trafficking required to undergo skills acquisition training or formal education.
Okah-Donli, however, praised the Federal Government and other stakeholders for their support in the wake of the current slave trade of Africans.