The National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) has said it secured the conviction of 599 persons across the country since its inception in 2004.
The Benin Zonal Commander, Nduka Nwawenne, disclosed this at a consultative workshop with judges and magistrates in Benin, organised by the Uromi Justice Development Peace and Caritas Initiative (Uromi JDPCI).
He said NAPTIP’s first conviction was recorded on November 19, 2004, when a convict was sentenced to three years imprisonment by the then chief judge of the state, Justice Constance Momoh.
“The agency recorded 80 convictions in 2022, making it the highest number of yearly convictions in the country. The agency also secured 27 convictions between January and March 31.”
He stressed the need to strengthen victims’ protection by making the victims of trafficking trust fund more operational so as to enhance the assistance and protection of victims of human trafficking in the state.
According to him, the trust fund is supposed to be effective in the rehabilitation and reintegration of victims.
Earlier, Very Reverend Father Fidelis Arhedo, Executive Director, Uromi JPDCI, said the workshop was to mobilise relevant stakeholders and galvanise actions towards the activation of victims of trafficking trust fund as contained in the Edo Traffic in Persons Prohibition Law 2018.
“The workshop was to call for the establishment of victims of trafficking trust fund committee as also stipulated under sections 67 and 68 of the Edo Traffic in Persons Prohibition Law in 2018,” he said.
He, however, solicited the support of the judiciary, NAPTIP and other stakeholders’ in the fight against human trafficking to ensure that compensations are being paid to victims of human trafficking.