He Enugu State Government has begun clamping down on unapproved orphanages and brothels used as conduits for human trafficking in the state.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Enugu State, Kingsley Udeh, disclosed this on Monday during a promotional meeting with the Enugu Zonal Commander of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Human Trafficking (NAPTIP), Sam Offiah.
Udeh promised to prosecute the owners of such facilities and human traffickers in the state, in line with the mission of the Enugu State Governor, Peter Mbah, to make Enugu the preferred destination for investment, business, tourism and life.
The commissioner added that the state will work with security and law enforcement agencies to eradicate human trafficking in the state and urged NAPTIP to strengthen the State Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force “to decisively address” the menace in the state.
During the meeting, Messrs. Udeh and Offiah resolved to work with other agencies to jointly develop an action plan to optimize the task force’s performance and improve outcomes, including deterring potential human traffickers and supporting victims of trafficking. human trafficking.
The Attorney General said Governor Mbah’s administration will not tolerate trading in persons or human organs in any form and warned that anyone caught in the act will be punished according to the law.
He expressed his willingness to issue a blanket order to NAPTIP, which the anti-trafficking agency had previously requested, to allow it to prosecute human traffickers under state law.
In response, Mr Offiah, Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, told the Attorney General that the agency has a shelter where victims removed from abusive homes and brothels are kept until they reintegrate into society.
The zonal commander explained that sheltering victims of human trafficking was part of the agency’s mandate.
However, he asked the Justice Commissioner to help the agency get decent accommodation because they are currently staying in a rented apartment which is insufficient and not conducive to their operations.
Other challenges affecting its operation in the state, according to him, include the lack of logistics, such as vehicles, as well as operational resources for the functioning of the agency.
Orphanages, sometimes used as “baby factories,” have been linked to rising cases of child trafficking in southeastern Nigeria.
The term baby factory is the name given to a facility where traffickers hold women, mostly teenagers, against their will, rape them, and force them to become pregnant.
Newborns at the center are then illegally sold to adoptive parents.
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Sometimes, girls who are in these centers are forced to work and become prostitutes.
A recent investigation He uncovered how a supposed Christian orphanage in Anambra State, another southeastern state, was illegally selling babies for between N1.5 million and N2 million, depending on the sex of the baby.
The investigation also revealed how the sales were carried out with the connivance of Nigerian police and judiciary officials.