The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) says it has achieved the conviction of no fewer than 38 sex offenders in the last year across the country.
NAPTIP CEO Ms Julie Okah-Donli revealed this on Monday in Enugu, during training for stakeholders and members of state working groups on human trafficking in the Southeast.
Okah-Donli said the 38 people were the ones registered in his registry between November 2019 and November 2020.
He said the gist of the sex offender registry launched in November 2019 was to name and shame sex offenders in the country.
“Like last week, a total of 38 convicted people have been documented in the registry with 414 reported cases and 108 digitally captured fingerprints,” he said.
On human trafficking, Okah-Donli said that the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic posed greater challenges to the crusade against crime.
“Some heartless human traffickers are already taking advantage of the situation to deceive and recruit vulnerable young people and traffic them.
“Therefore, we must rethink our strategy and redouble our efforts to curb the threat,” said the CEO.
Okah-Donli said that NAPTIP, in conjunction with state governments and with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other partners, between 2019 and 2020 inaugurated State Task Forces on Human Trafficking.
He said the workshop aimed to equip members of task forces with the skills necessary to reduce human trafficking cases.
“State task forces on human trafficking are strategic instruments that NAPTIP adopted to leverage anti-trafficking efforts at the subnational level.
“It will create important synergies in the fight against human trafficking in the country,” he said.
The NAPTIP chief said no fewer than 443 traffickers have been convicted and around 17,000 victims rescued by the agency.
“Our determination is to end human trafficking in Nigeria and I commend the commitment of IOM, who are the sponsors of this project, and the commitment of NAPTIP officials to this project,” said Okah-Donli.
Ms Bertha Ngunelu, IOM Project Officer, Against Human Trafficking, said the organization had continued to collaborate with NAPTIP over the years.
Ngunelu said that such collaboration was aimed at addressing human trafficking issues through the establishment of state working groups to address the peculiarities of each state.
“A training like this will provide a platform to provide conceptual clarity on human trafficking, smuggling and irregular migration,” said the project official.
He added that IOM had assisted in the return of no less than 19,000 migrants to Nigeria from Libya and European countries.