By Adeyinka Adedipe
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons says information at its disposal indicates that over 2,000 trafficked Nigerian girls are currently stranded in Mali.
The Benin Zone Commander, NAPTIP, Nduka Nwanwene, who disclosed this, added that the agency had intelligence that girls from Mali were being trafficked to Edo State for prostitution.
Nwanwene spoke during the 2023 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons in Benin, with the theme “Reach every victim of trafficking, leave no one behind.”
He said, “We just gathered intelligence that traffickers are bringing in young girls from Mali to Benin for prostitution; we are investigating. But many Nigerians, especially young girls, are stranded in Mali; over 20,000 Nigerian girls are stranded in Mali.
“Mali used to be a destination for girls trafficked from Nigeria but now the reverse is the case as Mali girls are being trafficked into Benin City for prostitution.”
Nwanwene said NAPTIP, under Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi, was making progress in the area of conviction of high-profile traffickers, sustained evidence-based rehabilitation, and empowerment of survivors.
He called on stakeholders to galvanise support towards addressing the menace of human trafficking and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.