By Miracle Enuji
Delta Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Peter Mrakpor Esq. has revealed that, operations of Human Traffickers are at the highest during festive seasons especially Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Mrakpor while noting that such seasons come with increase in criminal activities, averred that, it provides an atmosphere of subtle recruitment for would be trafficked victims who fall for all manners of wealth display by trafficking agents.
The Attorney General made this disclosure on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at a symposium and workshop, with the theme, “Winning in the Fight Against Human Trafficking in Nigeria”, organized by Attorney General Alliance/ Africa Alliance Partnership in collaboration with the Delta State Task Force on Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration and National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) at Best Western Hotel, Asaba.
The Commissioner for Justice who also doubles as Chairman, Delta State Task Force on Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration, informed participants of the State Government’s effort in curbing illegal migration and rehabilitation of rescued victims, adding that, it is also working with security agencies to clamp down on suspected traffickers.
Speaking on the revelation of Human Traffickers taking advantage of the festive season, Mrakpor said the extravagant show of wealth by suspicious individuals who returned from overseas, tends to stir up the desire to migrate to foreign countries by whatever means that may be presented to the unsuspecting victim. “December, January is the time to showcase the benefits of travelling abroad”.
Adding that, “traffickers now besiege shopping malls, where they approach young minds with a promise to get them jobs overseas and through mobile phones, they are shown what the world looks over there”. This he posited had led to a sharp increase in desperate travels unknowing to the victims of what lies in wait at their destinations.
The Attorney General while frowning at the prevalence of religious leaders encouraging their members to bring their passports for blessings without proper investigation, expressed hope that a better life can be achieved in Nigeria, calling for a change of mindset and orientation.
He commended AGA/AAP for partnering with the State Government and NAPTIP in organising the program stressing that the crime of Trafficking in persons is a complex and deeply disturbing menace which is growing and has expanded significantly to the extent that it has come to represent one of the world’s most pressing human rights violations.
“The negative impact on the victims, who are our children, our brothers and sisters and the hope of this Nation cannot be wished away. Therefore, there is the need to strengthen our enforcement mechanisms, both preventive and punitive, internationally and domestically and a full approach to the fight would entail the prevention of trafficking, the protection of victims and the prosecution of traffickers”. Mrakpor submitted.
Speaking at the event, a Board Member of AGA/AAP and an Assistant General Counsel for Pfizer, Markus Green Esq. described Human Trafficking as a “tragedy of our time”, is an awful $150 billion business affecting over 28 million individuals worldwide”.
Green noted that the effect of human trafficking is deeper than drug trafficking, which the later is a crime of one time profit but the former is a continuous harm especially in cases of sex slaves who are exploited repeatedly. “We are currently working with Attorney Generals in eight African Countries to see how we can combat this transnational crimes”.
Dame Julie Okah-Donli, Director General, National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in her remarks, commended the Delta State Task Force on Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration but however, blamed inability to access Justice as a negative factor to prosecuting Traffickers, opining that “adequate Justice for victims is the panacea for stopping human Trafficking”.