Director General (DG), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Dame Julie Okah-Donli has revealed that the agency will soon begin prosecuting guardians of street hawking children.
She said that NAPTIP is collaborating with the Ministry of women affairs to ensure it curtails the trafficking of children in the country.
Okah-Donli said that most children seen hawking on the streets were taken from different communities to hawk and make returns to their traffickers.
Speaking in Abuja on the occasion of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between NAPTIP, heat factory ICI productions and Otabor TV, the DG revealed that a person can be trafficked at any age.
Her words, “Age has absolutely nothing to do with trafficking, I can be trafficked so it has nothing to do with age.
“There is a relationship between out of school children who are hawking on the street when they should be in school and trafficking because most of these children hawking are not doing it for their parents, many have been taken off various communities to hawk and make returns to their traffickers, it is a very tricky area because children that are on the streets are directly under the ministry of women affairs so we found out that we were kind of going out of our jurisdiction.
“Even though we are not happy about it because there is a relationship between trafficking and hawking, we had a management meeting not too long ago and decided that we are going to do something about it and we are ready to fight that fight and it is for the benefit of the children.
“I just pray all states adopt the child rights act because if they don’t, the rights of the child cannot be protected so we are advocating for that from state to state.”