Meaning of Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is an illegal trade of human being for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation or reproductive slavery, forced labour, etc. The major victims of human trafficking are women and children. When women are the persons being brought and sold, it is called women trafficking. When it is a forced labour, commercial sexual exploitation, etc.
Human trafficking should be rejected in its totality. Today, we see a number of human trafficking cases involving children and women. This should be discouraged.
Many innocent girls and children became victims by means of threat, force, coercion and abduction or of the giving or receiving of payment to gain their consent for the purpose of exploitation.
Causes of Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is caused by a number of factors, which we shall be analyzing below:
- Poverty : This is a situation of being poor. This situation or experience has led many people to fall victims of human trafficking. The traffickers promise them money and jobs. Upon arrival at their destinations, the victims are held against their will and are forced to work or provide services to the traffickers. These services range from forced labour to commercialized sexual exploitation, etc.
- Unemployment : Due to the high level of unemployment in Nigeria, people would do anything to find greener pastures in other countries, especially Europe and America. So when these people are approached, they are easily deceived.
- Greed : this is a situation in which a person has a strong desire for more money, food, possessions, etc than he or she needs. These desires can lead such a person to be lured into commercialized sexual exploitation in the name of wanting to make money. Every individual should be contented with whatever he or she has. Contentment will help to resist any temptation that may come from traffickers.
- Low Self-esteem : Self esteem means self respect. It is a feeling of being satisfied with one’s abilities. When one does not believe in himself or herself or does not respect his or her own abilities, such as an individual with low esteem can easily be lured away by sweet and vain promises of traffickers. It is important to respect ourselves and our abilities.
- Corruption: This is a dishonest, illegal or immoral behavior especially with someone with power or position of authority.
Many people became victims of human trafficking as a result of someone exercising power, authority or position over them. Victims have no confidence to question the authority forcing them into this modern day slavery.
Therefore, a strong appeal goes to people in power and positions of authority not to abuse their office, power and authority in order to subject a fellow human being to unpleasant experiences in situation.
Effects and Consequences of Human Trafficking
The effects and consequences of human trafficking include thew following :
- Unwanted pregnancy : This occurs as a result of commercialized sexual exploitation.
- HIV/AIDS: This occurs as a result of unprotected sexual exploitation of the victims.
- Death: This occur as a result of illness or sickness which victims may experience without adequate health facilities.
- Stigmatization : This is a situation whereby a person’s self worth is destroyed and he or she is treated harshly. Victims of human trafficking are stigmatized in the society.
- Violation of Fundamental Human Rights : Trafficking violates the fundamental rights of a person to life, liberty and the security of the person, and to be free from slavery of all forms.
Efforts of Government and Individual To Stop Human Trafficking
Nigeria government has tried in full capacity to stop human trafficking in Nigeria. To end this, National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other Related Matters (NAPTIP) was established. The establishment or creation of this agency is the federal government of Nigeria’s response to addressing the scourge of human trafficking Nigeria.
Functions of NAPTIP:
- To adopt witness protection measures.
- Coordination of all laws on trafficking in person and related offences.
- Adoption of measures to increase the effectiveness of eradication of trafficking in person.
- To enhance effectiveness of law enforcement agents to suppress traffic in person.
- To establish proper communication channels, conduct research and work on improving international cooperation in the suppression of trafficking persons, by land, sea and air.
- To reinforce and supplement measures in bilateral and multilateral treaties and convections on trafficking in persons.
- To work in collaboration with other agencies or bodies that may ensure elimination and prevention of the root causes of the problem of trafficking in person.
- To strengthen and enhance effective legal means for international activities of traffic in persons.
- To strengthen cooperation between the Attorney-General of the Federation, Nigeria Police, Nigeria Immigration Services, Nigeria Customs Services, the Nigeria Prison services, welfare officials and all other agencies in the eradication of traffic in persons.
- To take charge, supervise, control and coordinate the rehabilitation of trafficked persons.
- To investigate and prosecute traffickers.
Others ways through which government tried to eradicate trafficking in persons is enactment of law against human trafficking.