The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) says it is mandatory for travelling agents to obtain a clearance certificate before embarking on any journey.
The Director-General of the agency, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, said this in Abuja on Saturday at a novelty match between the agency football club, and All Stars Football Club, Abuja, to create awareness on trafficking.
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She said that the mission of travelling for any agent would be specified in the clearance certificate.
Waziri- Azi added that the clearance certificate would help to reduce the trafficking and migration of persons from Nigeria irregularly.
The novelty match was part of the awareness to commemorate the 2022 Day Against Human Trafficking usually celebrated every July 30.
Waziri-Azi said the nexus between sport and the fight against human trafficking was clear as current trends in human trafficking had been traced to a relationship with sporting activities.
According to her, “sports is also an avenue young people are being recruited, they are promised opportunities to other countries, European countries, traffickers know that young people are very open to any sports opportunity.
“There is a strong nexus between trafficking and sports and we know that young people are involved in sporting activities, this was why we thought it was important to dwell on sports to create this awareness.
“We are collaborating with other partners, and agencies to carry out this sports sensitisation, not just to sensitise the young people but also sensitise their parents for them to be able to recognise the red flag.”
The Director-General, therefore, cautioned young Nigerians about sports agents and told them that when they were offered sports opportunities abroad, they must first ask for a clearance certificate from NAPTIP from the agent.
She said that the agency had legal backing which empowered the agency to regulate, control and issue certificates to tour operators, and travel agents.
According to her, the regulations also empower NAPTIP to regulate and control individuals who are also preparing to travel out for an educational excursion, sporting and cultural activities. (NAN)