The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in collaboration with the Network Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL) has secured the release of 15 Nigerian girls trafficked to Mali.
The girls, whom one of them is having a three-year old boy and two pregnant, were released with the support of Action Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Nigeria (A-TIPSOM).
A-TIPSOM is a project being implemented in Nigeria by the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policy (FIIAP) and is being sponsored by the European Union (EU).
Speaking during the arrival of the girls on Sunday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, the NAPTIP Director General, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, stated that the return of the girls was achieved through collaborative effort.
Represented by Mrs Angela Agbayekhai, Head, Intelligent and International Corporation Unit, NAPTIP, the director-general said the process started through the information the agency got from NACTAL, an NGO working in partnership.
“You will agree with me that it is not just Mali that these children of ours have been, but we are happy today that we have been able to bring back these number of girls.
“It is our hope and plan that we will bring back more of these children, because we have so many of them still out there in Mali.
“Today we have 15 of them with a child of three years, a male child. A fact-finding team who went to Mali in 2017 estimated that there are about 20,000 Nigerians still trafficked there.
“These ones brought back today is a drop in the Ocean of the numbers of these Nigerians. This is a good start, NAPTIP D-G will work with the ministers concern to bring back as many as possible.
“Bringing them back was not difficult, we had on ground an NGO we work with based in Mali, we gathered information, share intelligence and it was easy to put them together,” Waziri-Azi said.