PRESS RELEASE BY THE FEMALE LAW STUDENTS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA.
The Female Law Student Association (FLS) is the umbrella body for all undergraduate female law students in the country. Our Association’s objectives are geared towards the protection and enforcement of women and children’s rights. The modus operandi of the Association is not feministic; but seeks to put at the fore front the plight of young children and women generally. The Female Law Student Association (FLS) expresses grief and sadness over the latest discovery that the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has discovered more than 20,000 Nigerian girls who were trafficked from Nigeria to different parts of Mali and is making frantic efforts to rescue them.
This is based on the statement made by Julie Okah Donli, the director general of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on Saturday 20th January, 2018, during an interview with the NIGERIAN NEWS AGENCY (NAN), Mrs. Okah said that the agency sent a group on a fact finding mission and the report by the group was that 20,000 Nigerian girls have been trafficked to different parts of Mali. Many of the girls she said confessed that they were deceived and lured into believing that, they were being taken to ‘Malisia’, probably making it sound like Malaysia, to work in hospitals, hotels, restaurants, hairdressing salons and some other jobs traditional assigned for women.”
She added that “Some of the girls arrived there in their school uniforms, suggesting that they were kidnapped on their way to or from school. According to her the conditions of these victims are horrible; they are kept in shanties in the thick of the forest where they cannot escape and with the ‘madams’ watching over them.
Their job, mainly, is to service miners from other parts of Africa who are predominant in Northern Mali. From the DG’s statement she said “Most of the girls are desirous of returning home and we are working with the International organization for Migration (IOM), the Malian government and the Nigerian Embassy in Mali to see how we can repatriate them” Therefore, FLS urges that the federal government and all the relevant bodies as a mbodies to rescue and rehabilitate the victims. We also urge the security agencies to ensure strict retribution of trafficking offenders under our laws to help curb the level of woman/child trafficking being committed on a daily basis.
Based on a research carried out by the Female Law Student Association; It is crystal clear that this Nation is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons including forced labor and forced prostitution. Trafficked Nigerian women and children are recruited from rural areas within the country’s borders (women and girls) for involuntary domestic servitude and sexual exploitation, and boys for forced labor in street vending, domestic servitude, mining, and begging. Therefore it is high time we work earnestly as a giant of Africa to permanently rid ourselves of this cancer that has eaten deeply into the fabrics of our society or at least to reduce it to the barest minimum.
The association is therefore urging all relevant stakeholders such as the federal ministry of Women Affairs, federal ministry of justice, Nigeria police force, Nigerian immigration service and other notable key players to please intensify efforts in ensuring that this age long struggle of the exploitation of women and children is brought to an absolute end.
The action of these unscrupulous elements is not only saddening but abominable. They seek to take us back to the era of slavery and servitude. Their actions continue to rid us of bright, intelligent and promising female minds, it is no longer an issue of debate that the success of any Nation is inextricably linked to the way she treats her women and children.
Most importantly the actions of this group of people is an assault on Sections 33, 34, 35, 41, and 42 of the Nigerian constitution which guarantees the following rights: Right to life, right to dignity of human person, right to personal liberty, freedom of movement, and right to freedom from discrimination. It is also a gross violation of international laws, the African charter on human and people’s rights. The federal government should hereby with immediate effect ensure the quick apprehension and trial of persons involved in this gory act in line with sections 13–35 of the Trafficking in Person (prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act; 2015 LFN 1999.
The Female Law Student Association urges Nigerians to be alert where ever they go to and not to trust anybody offering unverifiable jobs or any other kind of promises as the rate of trafficking is alarmingly on the increase.”
The association also urges the federal government to try and provide more job opportunities for her citizens and that fellow Nigerians should work even harder so as to make Nigeria better a place.
The association intends to carry out seminars that will sensitize the populace most especially Young girls and children about trafficking. It also undertakes to carry out a Radio program to discuss with experts on that field especially social workers and even immigration officers and other relevant bodies on the issue. Lastly, and to carry out Online Based Campaigns and Hash tags with videos and pictures.
“WOMEN AND CHILDERN ARE A GIFT FROM GOD, IT IS RIGHT, FAIR AND COMPUSDORY THAT WE NOT ONLY ENCOURAGE AND PROTECT THEM, BUT THAT WE AFFORD THEM OPPURTUINITIES TO GROW, EXPLORE AND PROSPER WITHIN THE CONFINES OF MODESTY”
Ruqayyatu B. Bello.
400 Level Student.
Ahmadu Bello University.
For The National Executive Council
Female Law students’ Forum,Nigeria
January 30th, 2019.
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