Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) has solicited more funding for the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to enable the agency perform effectively.
JDPC Director of Programmes, Mr Timothy Ejeh, made the call on Friday in Abuja, at an ongoing training for journalists on ethics for covering human trafficking and irregular migration issues.
The training is organised by Action Against Trafficking in Persons Cluster (AATiP) with support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) palladium project.
The palladium project is under the cause of Strengthening Civil Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE).
According to Ejeh, the current funds made available to NAPTIP is too meagre compared to the array of functions it performs.
He said that NAPTIP was doing a whole lot as an agency of government trying to counter trafficking in persons in Nigeria with a limited budget.
According to him, currently NAPTIP has been saddled with the responsibility of regulating the Act of protection and prohibition of persons against violence.
“This has come into the work of the agency without any budget line for it.’’
He said that the agency had currently been asked to station at the border post and at the port of entry into the country.
He said this was to see how it could clamp down traffickers, adding that without enough resources the agency might not perform well.
“If you don’t have enough resources, manpower and personnel at various borders, how can you counter trafficking in persons. So, there is need for NAPTIP to have enough funding to be able to clamp down on traffickers.
“With enough funding, the agency will also be able to help victims of trafficking because there are a lot of them in NAPTIP shelters; currently NAPTIP is having 14 shelter camps across the country.
“NAPTIP has to feed these people, provide medications, and protect them and others which require a lot of funding.
“NAPTIP is really in need of funding, so there is need for an upward review of its funding,” he said.
Ejeh also said that there was nothing wrong for a country to have private shelters, apart from government owned, but owners of such shelters must align with the minimum standard of establishment issued by NAPTIP.
“There are various shelters privately owned, perpetrating evil in the name of running shelters for vulnerable victims of human trafficking and Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).
“The commission has discovered that some persons are abusing the privilege of having private shelters, by housing little children and turning such shelters into baby factory.
“They also use the children for their own illicit and nefarious trade,”he said.
He said that owners of private shelters must comply with the minimum standard of regulation in line with the regulation issued by NAPTIP as the authority in charge of such issues.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria