Benin, Feb. 14, 2018 (TNE) Mrs Julie Okah-Donli, the Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), on Wednesday called for the closure of detention camps harbouring illegal migrants across the world.
Okah-Donli made the call when she received representatives from the UK Parliament and its House of Lords in NAPTIP office on Wednesday in Benin.
She advocated that instead of detention camps, shelters should be provided where illegal migrants could stay for at least a month before deportation to their countries.
According to her, the forceful repatriation of illegal migrants and victims of human trafficking hinges on their fundamental human rights.
She said that there is the need for justice for the victims as they are entitled to lawyers, lamenting that victims are not usually given such rights by the countries repatriating them.
According to her, there is need for shared intelligence between countries repatriating illegal migrants and receiving countries.
This, she noted, has not been the case between Nigeria and repatriating countries.
Okah-Donli attributed the development to lack of trust, adding that a balance in information and intelligence shared will do a great justice to solving the problems of trafficking and help apprehend traffickers.
She faulted the role of some European countries in human trafficking, which she blamed for their love for cheap labour.
The NAPTIP boss said that these illegal immigrants were being employed in hotels, hospitals and industries, thereby making it difficult to curb illegal migration.
The director-general said that traffickers could not operate without the collaboration of some foreign partners in the destination countries.
She appealed for proper intelligence to be carried out with a view to apprehending the traffickers and their partners.
On the way forward, Okah-Donli told the visitors that there is the need for NAPTIP offices to be at every airport; just as the issue of pornographic sites and prostitution should be looked into.
She urged that corporate bodies be involved in the fight against illegal migration and human trafficking.
Earlier, Ms Cathy Osamor, member of the UK Parliament, said that they are in Nigeria to find out the challenges NAPTIP is facing in its fight against human trafficking.
Osamor said that the parliament also wants to know how its research results can be used to enhance the agency’s operations.
The diplomat said they intend to support NAPTIP through the creation of massive awareness by taking everything discussed back to the Diaspora.
She said that she aligned with the NAPTIP director-general’s call for closure of all detention camps worldwide.
Redorts say that the team, which also had Baroness Elizabeth Barker of the House of Lords with them, visited the agency’s shelter in Benin.