By Clare Nwaiwu
The Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) Dame Julie Okah- Donli, has warned parents in the habit of contracting under-age house-helps and treating them like slaves to make sure that such children are enrolled in schools and given equal treatments like the biological children of the parents.
Okah-Donli gave the warning on Sunday, during a thanksgiving service at the St. Mathew Anglican Church, Maitama Abuja, to commemorate the 2018 World Anti-Human Trafficking Day, which starts Monday, where she said a lot of parents were engaged in the evil practice of treating house-helps like slaves, affirming that these acts amount to trafficking.
[penci_blockquote style=”style-2″ align=”none” author=””]“For house-helps under the ages of 18, you must treat them properly. You are expected to send them to school. A lot of us are evil; we don’t send them to school, clothe them like your children or treat them like you treat your own biological children. You must pay salaries to the ones above 18 and not pay the salaries through any agent,” she said.[/penci_blockquote]
“For house-helps under the ages of 18, you must treat them properly. You are expected to send them to school. A lot of us are evil; we don’t send them to school, clothe them like your children or treat them like you treat your own biological children. You must pay salaries to the ones above 18 and not pay the salaries through any agent,” she said.
The NAPTIP boss revealed that her agency has secured the conviction of 43 persons who were involved in the crimes of human trafficking. She also revealed that in the last 15 years of its creation, 359 arrests have been made. Apart from these, she said the agency has trained three victims who have graduated from universities and some that are still undergraduates.
She explained that the agency enforces the law prohibiting every form of trafficking in persons which involves the act of recruitment of persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation, organ harvesting and forced labour and child labour, which she said, is exploitation of under-aged.
Okah-Donli who said the reason for the special thanksgiving service was to appreciate God for giving them protection in their work, which she said, were usually very risky. According to her the work of the agency entail confronting evil and dangerous men and women in the society who want to take advantage of vulnerable child in order to exploit them.
“We feel we have to organise this special thanksgiving service because a lot of times, we take things for granted, we take so much risk arresting, prosecuting traffickers. And so, I thought we should come and give thanks to God for sparing our lives over the year” she said.
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Okah-Donli who disclosed that the agency has ten shelters across the country for sheltering victims of trafficking, said members of the public can visit the shelters and make their contributions to the up keep of the victims. She also said that at the moment they are sustained by allocation from government and donations from international organisations.
She called on the general public to join them, Monday, in a walk from the Old Parade Ground Abuja, as part of activity to raise awareness on the World anti-trafficking Day.
The Vicar of St. Mathew Anglican Church Maitama Archdeacon Emmanuel Oludare Oloki, who reacted to the DG’s speech, thanked her and her staff for recognizing the role of God in the work they do and averred that most of the incidences of trafficking in persons were because of the craze to get rich quick in the society.
He said he did not believe the stories about organ harvesting until two years ago when somebody he knew was rescued from the hands of organ harvesters. “If you see him you will still see the effect on him,” he said.