The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has warned it is mandatory for traveling agents to obtain clearance certificate before embarking on any journey.
The Director-General of the agency, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, said this in Abuja on Saturday, July 30, at a novelty match between the agency football club, and All Stars Football Club, Abuja, to create awareness on trafficking.
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She said that the mission of travelling for any agent would be specified in the clearance certificate.
Waziri-Azi added that the clearance certificate would help to reduce trafficking and migration of persons from Nigeria.
The novelty match was part of the awareness to commemorate the 2022 Day Against Human Trafficking usually celebrated every July 30.
Waziri-Azi said said the nexus between sport and the fight against human trafficking was clear, as current trends in human trafficking had been traced to a relationship with sporting activities.
According to the NAPTIP DG, sports is also an avenue young people are being recruited, they are promised opportunities to other countries, European countries, traffickers know that young people are very open to any sport opportunity.
She said that traffickers capitalised on sporting activities to deceive the young Nigerians, by telling them that they could get them contract in other countries and take them to where they wanted them to go.
There is a strong nexus between trafficking and sports and we know that young people are involved in sporting activities, this was why we thought it was important to dwell on sports to create this awareness.
We are collaborating with other partners, agencies to carry out this sports sensitisation, not just to sensitise the young people but also sensitise their parents for them to be able to recognise the red flag.
Caution For Sports Agents
The Director-General therefore cautioned young Nigerians about sports agents, and told them that when they were offered sports opportunity abroad, they must first ask for clearance certificate from NAPTIP from the agent.
She said that the agency had a trafficking in persons control activities, Organisations Regulations 2020, which empowered the agency to regulate, control and issue certificates to tour operators, travel agents.
According to her, the regulations also empowers NAPTIP to regulate and control individual who are also preparing to travel out for educational excursion, sporting and cultural activities.
She said that the agency was collaborating with other sister agencies to ensure that the manance of trafficking was nipped in the bud.