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NAPTIP faults report on trafficked survivors

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has faulted the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on trafficking of women and girls…

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has faulted the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on trafficking of women and girls in Nigeria.

The HRW had in its report titled “You Pray for Death – Trafficking of Women and Girls in Nigeria: Provide More Support” released yesterday alleged that trafficked survivors suffer in NAPTIP’s shelters.

But the Director General NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli, at a press conference yesterday, dismissed the report as “a mere figment of the imagination of the writers.” She said the narratives fell below the standards in the operations of NAPTIP shelters as well as the standards for victims’ support and assistance. She said NAPTIP shelters are close settings where victims are given protections and assistance “for a short while before moving them to open shelters so they can move about for their rehabilitation programmes which include going to schools or learning a trade based on their preferences but the shelter is not a detention camp, neither does it look like one and can be accessed and assessed.”

Okah-Donli said Nigeria, through NAPTIP, spends a lot of money in keeping the victims safe and providing adequately for their welfare in the shelters.

“It may interest you to know that victims rescued from their exploiters or repatriated from abroad, their traffickers in order or avoid justice go in search of them to harm them or stop them from exposing what they have gone through. Under such circumstances, the victims need protection to save his or her lives.”

The 90-page report said “The Nigerian government should take steps to address the serious health conditions, social exclusion, and poverty faced by survivors, and stop further traumatizing survivors by detaining them in shelters.”

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