Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the establishment of sexual offenders register to collate names of persons convicted for rape and assaults by the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) is not aimed at stigmatising people unnecessarily.
He explained that on the contrary, it was set up to help keep track of those convicted of sexual offences in the country.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja at a public lecture to mark 2019 world day against human trafficking, Osinbajo said the register would also assist the government to develop preventive measures to curb reoccurrence of such acts while safeguarding victims of sexual offenses.
Osinbajo commended NAPTIP for producing the first country report on human trafficking, adding: ”For too long, we have left other countries and institutions to tell our own story for us.
This NAPTIP’s effort, is, therefore, a welcome development, because it puts before the world, the aggregate of programmes, policies and actions of government at all levels and Nigeria in combating human trafficking, child labour and abuse.”
Osinbajo, who reiterated government’s resolve to fight human trafficking, added that combating the menace required the participation of all Nigerians, insisting that human trafficking was a clear and present danger, which confronts all nations of the world, either as a source, transit or destination country.
Director-General of NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli, said it was instructive to continually remind all stakeholders that human trafficking was a horrible menace.
Besides, to curtail spate of child trafficking, labour and violence in Nigeria, stakeholders have canvassed stiffer penalties for perpetrators, so as to serve as a deterrent for others.
They made the call at the 2019 annual stakeholders conference on Action Against Child Trafficking, Labour and Violence in commemoration of the World Day Against Child Labour and Trafficking in Persons with the theme: Children Should Not Work In Fields But On Dreams, in Ibadan.
Speaking, Reverend Father Ezekiel Owoeye charged parents and guardians to be alive to their responsibility, as the end to human trafficking requires collective action.
Also speaking, Head of Programme, Women and Child’s Rights Programme, Mrs. Omotayo Adebayo, advised parents against shouting down their children’s curiosity.
Meanwhile, founder of Live Abundantly, a non-governmental organisation, Dr Ama Onyerinma, has urged the Federal Government and relevant agencies to promote and enforce human rights, which are essential for creating an inclusive and equitable society.
She made the appeal in separate presentations at a Stakeholders’ Conference organised by Justice, Development and Peace Commission, Ibadan and NAPTIP office in Lagos on the sidelines of the World Day against Trafficking in Persons.
Ama also advocated education and skills acquisition for girls and youths, noting that there was an urgent need to address poverty by emphasising education, jobs creation, training, internships and entrepreneurship.