Mrs Ola Erinfolami, South-West Zonal Coordinator, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons, has called for stiffer punishments for human traffickers in the country.

Erinfolami spoke in Ijebu-Ode on Wednesday shortly after viewing a film: ‘Dangerous Hope’, sponsored by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the movie examined human trafficking within the context of irregular migration and forced displacement.

The south-west zonal coordinator explained that it was important to ensure that stiffer penalties were given to any individual or group still engaging in human trafficking.

She noted that stiffer punishments remained one of the best ways of curbing the menace of human trafficking and irregular migration in the country.

According to her, the commission has continued to sensitise the general public and relevant stakeholders on the need to see Nigeria as a country where they can still make it and succeed in life instead of engaging in irregular migration.

“The situation of trafficking in Nigeria needs drastic solution, though not only in Nigeria but African continent at large.

“The situation of trafficking in Nigeria needs drastic solution, though not only in Nigeria but African continent at large.

“It is important for people to be aware of the evil effect of traveling irregularly,” she said.

Erinfolami called on parents, community leaders and various stakeholders to always advise their children and community members on why they should not engage in irregular migration but follow due process.

“We always encourage parents to be mindful of what they say to the children; some of them downgrade their children, telling them ‘your mates are abroad’, ‘your mates have made this and that’.

“Some even hand over their children to traffickers to be taken abroad and on getting there, it is exploitation; some will even pass through sexual exploitation and child abuse.

“We will have a way of calling all the persons concerned together to sensitise them on how they can travel by going through the normal process and doing it right,” she said.

Earlier, Head of Field Office, UNHCR, Lagos, Mr Ephraim Kabura, noted that internally-displaced persons, asylum seekers and refugees had become key targets of human traffickers because of their vulnerability and desperation to achieve better livelihood.

Kabura said that the film was aimed at creating awareness about the plight of refugees, their vulnerabilities and especially, the risk of being trafficked.

He further stated that the movie also informed viewers to always report suspected cases of trafficking to NAPTIP for further intervention.


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