By Martin Paul
Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Dame Julie Okah-Donli, has listed lack of proper information sharing and non-disclosure by destination countries as some of the factors affecting the fight against human trafficking.
A press statement signed by Nneka Aniagor, on behalf of Head, Press and Public Relations, Josiah Emerole, stated that the NAPTIP boss made the observation in Rome, Italy at a broadcast organised by the Cable News Network’s (CNN) Freedom Project, tagged: “Solutions to end Human Trafficking”, sponsored by the Essam and DalalObaidFoundation and moderated by CNN’s Richard Quest.
Other members of the discussion Panel were: Gervais Appave, Special Policy Adviser to the Director-General, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Franco Frattini, former Italian Foreign Minister, and Joanna Rubinstein, President and CEO, World Childhood Foundation USA.
In her response to questions from the moderator, the audience and other participants made up of representatives of the European Union and the Italian government as well as Non-governmental Organisations, the Director-General stressed the importance of destination countries, especially members of the European Union prosecuting the criminal gangs in their countries.
She opined that not crippling the finances and assets of traffickers, not addressing the pull factors in destination countries which include demand for sex and cheap labour, child pornography etc., will not serve as deterrence to the traffickers.
Okah-Donli expressed the belief that the European Union (EU) should work more with Nigeria in investigating and prosecuting human traffickers’ cartels in Europe to reduce outflow of victims from Africa
She called for “a reinforcement of the bilateral and multilateral cooperation between states of origin, transit and destination, in the areas of identification, protection and assistance to victims, as well as the prosecution of traffickers”, adding that rescuing and repatriating victims without prosecution amounted to nothing.