NAPTIP harps on establishment of shelter in Bayelsa

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By Eunice Nnachi, Yenagoa

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has sought collaboration with the Bayelsa State Government to tackle the menace of out-of-school children and enforce the Child Rights Law by apprehension and prosecution of offenders.

NAPTIP also requested the establishment of a shelter (rehabilitation center) by the Bayelsa State Government and provision of operational vehicles to carry out campaigns in the rural areas.

These are part of the resolutions reached when the Bayelsa Command of NAPTIP held a stakeholders engagement meeting with participating organizations which includes; the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), among others.

Others include the Gender Response Initiative Team (GRIT), Women Organized for Mentorship and Advocacy Network, (WOMAN), Eunice Nnachi Women Advocacy Foundation, (ENWAF), DO Foundation and 4S Juvenile Rehabilitation Centers, among others.

Earlier, the state Commander of NAPTIP, Mrs. Abieyuwa Ikhidero, urged participants to be relentless in the fight against human trafficking.

She affirmed that human trafficking is a global scourge that requires collective commitment and actions to combat the crime with the state.

At the long extensive deliberation, stakeholders affirmed the need for all hands to be on deck in tackling issues of human trafficking and gender-based violence (GBV).

Stakeholders also identified the need for logistic support for NAPTIP in the implementation of its core mandate and requested that the Bayelsa State Government provide vehicles to NAPTIP to aid its operations.

Stakeholders noted with dismay the rising incidence of out of school children in Bayelsa State, and fingered it as a contributory factor exposing children to human trafficking, and appealed to the Bayelsa State Government to, in conjunction with stakeholders:
Carry out continuous sensitization campaigns to tackle the menace of out of school children.

Full enforcement of the Child Rights Law by apprehension and prosecution of offenders including erring parents.

Stakeholders identified the need for continuous capacity development for counselors and stakeholders, and solicited Government support in the fight against human trafficking and Gender Based Violence in the State.

Stakeholders encouraged citizens, victims of human trafficking and Gender Based Violence to speak up and reach out to NAPTIP and relevant stakeholders for succour.

Stakeholders discouraged stigmatization of victims of human trafficking and Gender Based Violence, and admonished journalists and the media to respect the privacy of victims in their reportage to avoid stigmatization.

Stakeholders further pledged their commitment and support for NAPTIP and relevant Government Agencies in the fight against human trafficking and Gender Based Violence in all ramifications.