SP decries increase in human trafficking, irregular migration

According to UNESCO, Nigeria currently ranks 23 on the Global Slavery Index of 167 countries with the highest number of slaves.

Saraki stated this at a roundtable on migration and human trafficking in Benin city, Edo state.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Nigeria currently ranks 23 on the Global Slavery Index of 167 countries with the highest number of slaves.

This rating, according to Saraki, has caused lawmakers sleepless nights.

“Nigeria currently ranks 23 on the Global Slavery Index of 167 countries with the highest number of slaves. Human trafficking is third in the ignoble hierarchy of the commonly occurring crimes in Nigeria, according to UNESCO.

"We are losing sleep over irregular migration and human trafficking; and we are determined, as representatives of the people, to do something about it," Saraki said.

He lamented that Nigeria has lost too many young people - who have died in the desert and in the sea - on the unpredictable treks who otherwise would have led productive lives in their home country.

"We have seen the bleak images of coffins of who were laid to rest in Italy last November. This is what brings us today to ancient Benin. The trafficking of young males has overtaken females in this state for the first time, and now stands at 63 per cent," he said.

The Senate President stated that it is the expectation of the leadership of the Senate that the roundtable would serve as a springboard to efforts to stem the tide of illegal migration and human trafficking.

"Clearly, something is wrong in the way we manage citizens’ security, border security as well as international cooperation and collaboration," he said. "This Roundtable is designed to help answer some of the niggling questions. To identify root causes and the various dimensions of the problem, and work out a way forward."

Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki; the Minister of Interior, Abduraman Dambazzau; the European Union (EU), United Kingdom, International Organization on Migration, the National Agency for the Prohibition on Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and Civil Society Organizations were also present at the event.

Avoid Libya

Meanwhile, the federal government has cautioned Nigerians seeking greener pasture outside the shores of the country to avoid going to Libya.

Abike Dabiri, President Muhammadu Buhari's aide on foreign and diaspora affairs gave the warning following global outrage over the Libya slave trade.

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