By Francis Ekpone
No fewer than 30 ex-victims and potential victims of human trafficking from Anambra state have received entrepreneurship and vocational development training on various skills.
The 5-day training tagged “self-help group training” was organised by a non-governmental organisation, Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) in partnership with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and a civil society organisation, Integrated Anti-Human Trafficking and Community Development Initiative (INTACOM-Africa) with support from the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The assistant programme officer of PRAWA, Ms Justina Laman, said the third phase of the training was to engage the youths to avoid being re-trafficked by the traffickers, adding that the NGO would empower the trainees to become self-reliant.
“The future of these youths is our concern. We have trained them on entrepreneurial development and life planning skills which will help them plan their lives, to become aware of the skill they will go into and develop that confidence that will enable them to survive while the entrepreneurial development will help them establish and manage their businesses.
“In this last phase of the training, which is self-help group training, we trained them on how to access the revolving fund that will be released by our supporters for their empowerment and, very soon, they will be empowered to start up their own businesses and manage them by themselves” she said.
On her part, the Enugu zonal commander of NAPTIP, Mrs. Comfort Agboko, commended the PRAWA, INTA-COM Africa and the trainees for the successful completion of the programme and urged them to put all the knowledge they have acquired during the trainings into use.
She reiterated the commitment of NAPTIP to fighting the spate of human trafficking in Nigeria, saying that the agency would not rest until all perpetrators are brought to book.
“Human trafficking is a crime and modern-day slavery and slavery has been with us since the creation of the world. The scourge can only be reduced not eradicated but I can assure you that human trafficking is gradually reducing but the unfortunate thing is that illegal migration is now the order of the day, hence the increase in human trafficking. As an agency, we try our best to ensure that the suspected traffickers and smugglers’ activities are checkmated and anyone caught prosecuted” she warned.
Agboko noted that the South East zone under her watch, within five months, made two arrests of suspected human traffickers, secured two convictions and rescued three victims. He added that the agency, under her watch, would not rest on its oars until human trafficking is nipped in the bud.
She, however, called on all Nigerians to join hands with NAPTIP in exposing the wicked people whose main interest is to exploit the children and jeopardise their future.
While the executive director/founder of INTA-Com Africa, Okoye Hope Nkiruka, commended the consistency of PRAWA in the fight against traffickers, revealing that they had taken the sensitisation to schools, markets, some communities and tertiary institutions in Anambra state to enlighten children and parents on the dangers of trafficking in the society.