Group decries spate of child trafficking in Plateau

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An NGO, Christian Women for Excellence and Empowerment in Nigeria (CWEENS), has decried the spate of child trafficking in Plateau.

Mrs Ochanya Fatoki, the Legal Officer and Programme Manager of the organisation, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Jos, described Plateau as a ‘transient hub’ for child trafficking in Nigeria.

She called for collaboration between the state, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and other relevant stakeholders toward combating the menace.

”CWEENS recently noticed an increase in child trafficking, labour and prostitution in Plateau.

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”This may not be unconnected with the current security challenges in the state because traffickers now go to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp to pick these young girls without any form of legal procedures.

”Poverty, ignorance of the law, parental negligence and bad parenting, and other reasons are contributing to this illegal activity.

While we call on government to go into aggressive awareness against trafficking and its attendant consequences, stringent measures should be put in place, particularly the enforcement of laws and regulations against child trafficking,” she said.

The legal officer, who accused some parents of pushing their young daughters and sometimes boys into the illegal act, expressed concern about the existence of a human trafficking syndicate in the state.

The legal officer said that the girls were usually pushed out by their parents in search of better life for the family.

“These parents tell these young girls that it’s their duty to rescue the family from financial difficulties.

“Sometimes ago, we handled the case of a young girl who was taken to Mali from Plateau.

“She said the agent told him that it cost him N1.5 million to bring her to Mali and she has to do prostitution to pay back,” she explained.

Fatoki, however, said that CWEENS would support in the fight against child trafficking, adding arrangements that had been concluded for its Human Resource Department to go to the hinterlands to create awareness against the illegal activity.(NAN)

By Zainab Oyekan

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