By MBAFAN ADE -Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Dame Julie Okah-Donli, has identified lack of proper information sharing and non disclosure by destination countries as some of the factors affecting the fight against human trafficking.
The NAPTIP boss made this known in Rome, Italy at a broadcast event organised by the Cable News Network’s (CNN) Freedom Project, tagged “Solutions to End Human Trafficking”. The event which was sponsored by the Essam and DalalObaidFoundation was moderated by CNN’s Richard Quest.
Other members of the discussion Panel were: Gervais Appave, Special Policy Adviser to the Director-General, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Franco Frattini, former Italian Foreign Minister, and Joanna Rubinstein, President and CEO, World Childhood Foundation USA.
In her response to questions from the moderator, the audience and other participants made up of representatives of the European Union and the Italian Government, as well as Non-Governmental Organisations, the Director-General stressed the importance of destination countries, especially members of the European Union prosecuting the criminal gangs in their countries.
She opined that not crippling the finances and assets of traffickers, not addressing the pull factors in destination countries which include demand for sex and cheap labour, child pornography etc., will not serve as deterrence to the traffickers. Dame Julie Okah-Donli believes that the European Union (EU) should work more with Nigeria in investigating and prosecuting human traffickers’ cartels in Europe to reduce outflow of victims from Africa
According to her, “there should be a reinforcement of the bilateral and multilateral cooperation between States of origin, transit and destination, in the areas of identification, protection and assistance to victims, as well as the prosecution of traffickers”, as rescuing and repatriating victims without prosecuting the offenders will amount to nothing.
She further stressed the importance of awareness creation in the Source, Transit and Destination countries, as well as assistance to the countries of origin with provision of jobs and means of promoting young entrepreneurs, cutting edge technology to secure their borders, as well as relaxing visa laws to promote more regular migration. She informed them that the fight against human trafficking is one which involves every country coming together as human trafficking is a global moral epidemic and must be tackled by all.