The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) said on Tuesday that it had rescued 14 children who were trafficked from Plateau to Lagos State.
The Plateau State Government also said it has recently rescued seven children trafficked to Edo and Lagos states.
The commandant of NAPTIP in Plateau State, Adole Agada, who handed over the children to the state government in Jos, said the children were rescued by NAPTIP zonal command in Ikeja, Lagos.
Agada explained that the children, within the age range of 13 to 17, were rescued following intelligence from a credible informant.
He described the situation as a case of child labour and exploitation, adding that the rescued children hail from Riyom Local Government Area of the state.
“We got a tip that three underage girls were taken from Plateau to Lagos, and we swung into action by contacting relevant stakeholders.
“Our men in Lagos arrested Amina Sadique, the woman who came to collect the three girls at the park.
“Thorough investigation led to the rescue of these 14 young girls and boys,” Agada said.
The NAPTIP commandant, who decried the rising spate of internal and external trafficking in the state, explained that the kids were largely used as domestic staff and as sales girls and boys.
The Plateau State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development in the State, Mrs Caroline Dafur, who received the children on behalf of the state government, described the situation as appalling and worrisome.
Dafur explained that it was the third time she had received rescued children since she assumed office.
“We rescued four Plateau children from Edo, three from Lagos, and now another 14 from Lagos.
“This is an unpleasant situation, and as a government, we will not allow this to continue in the state,” she said.
Dafur promised that the state government would enrol them in schools and skill acquisition programmes to ensure they were useful to themselves, their families, and their communities.
The commissioner said that the children would be taken for a proper medical examination.
Plateau State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Musa Ashoms, promised to intensify awareness, particularly in rural communities, against human trafficking.
“We will not allow parents acting in ignorance or hiding under the guise of poverty to sabotage the future of their children.
“We will engage all critical stakeholders to address this rising menace that is putting Plateau in the news for the wrong reasons,” Ashoms said.
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