The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has raised the alarm that traffickers are now recruiting and trafficking girls from Mali to Edo State for prostitution.
The Benin Zone Commander, NAPTIP, Nduka Nwanwene, disclosed this during the 2023 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons in Benin, with the theme “Reach every victim of trafficking, leave no one behind”
Nwanwene said the theme was a call for increased collaboration among key players in the anti-human trafficking circle, adding that it presented an opportunity to raise awareness of the emerging trends and development regarding vulnerable groups targeted by human traffickers.
“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,” he said.
“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.