The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons says it has concluded plans to clamp down on shelters and homes offering rehabilitation services to trafficked victims, for noncompliance with guidelines.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Director-General of the agency, Prof Fatima Waziri-Azi, and issued to newsmen on Friday by Mr Vincent Adekoye, a Press Officer in the agency.
Waziri-Azi said that in spite of several warnings and extension of ultimatum to comply with guidelines for the establishment of shelter homes, the organisations were still flaunting the guidelines.
She said that the NAPTIP had concluded plans for immediate clamp down on erring organisations.
Waziri-Azi said that only two organisations (shelter homes), Pathfinder Justice Initiative and the Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation had fully complied with the regulations.
She also disclosed that six others were in partial compliance, adding that they were The Second Voice Foundation, the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, and Patriotic Citizens Initiatives.
Others are Rays of Hope Community Foundation, Kids with a Vision Foundation and Emmanuel World Children Foundation.
According to her, these six organisations have registered on the online clearance portal but had yet to schedule an inspection of their facilities by the team responsible for NAPTIP.
Waziri-Azi said that following the expiration of the ultimatum issued to organisations operating shelters and homes for rehabilitation to obtain licences in accordance with the law, organisations had continued to flout the law.
“NAPTIP wishes to inform the public, members of the Civil Society Organisation, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Development partners, donor agencies, states and other stakeholders on compliance with the regulation by the affected organisations.
‘’The agency has on two occasions extended the ultimatum issued to organisations; the extension was because of the intervention of the Network of Civil Society Organisations Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL), to give more time.
“The Regulation gives NAPTIP the power to control and issue clearance certificates to travel agents or tour operators and intending travellers for the purpose of educational excursions; recruitment for labour,” she said.
The DG said that others who had this privilege were sporting activities; cultural, music excursions or competitions; and that licences must be given to all these shelter organisations.
She said that the regulation was necessitated by the disturbing cases of the recruitment and exploitation of Nigerians under the guise of labour migration, and educational, cultural, sporting and musical excursions.
The DG stated that the regulations were to ensure that operators of shelters and homes offering services for the rehabilitation of trafficked persons humanely conducted their businesses within the ambit of the law.
She stated that in spite of the extended ultimatums, many organisations had, however, failed to comply and that erring organisations risked immediate shutdown.
She advised donor agencies, development partners and the public to note the organisations that had complied either fully or partially before dealing with them.
Waziri-Azi disclosed that the agency would periodically update and publish the list of organisations that had complied with the regulation 2019.
She also called on interested parties to contact the agency to verify the compliance status of any organisation operating shelters and homes for the rehabilitation of trafficked persons. (NAN)