Senate moves to free 1.4m ‘slaves’

Posted by News Express | 7 November 2019 | 1,329 times

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Senate on Wednesday passed for second reading a bill to halt escalating modern slavery as well as rescuing about 1.4 million Nigerians being held in all manner of slavery in the country.

The upper chamber quoted the Global Slavery Index (GSI) saying that 1,384,000 Nigerians are currently put into modern slavery as against 1,081,000 from the other 16 West Africans hauled into modern slavery.

The bill titled ‘’Urgent Need to Address the Prevalence of Modern Slavery in Nigeria’’ was sponsored by Senator Uba Sani (Kaduna central) and co-sponsored by 13 other senators.

The bill which was predicated on the Global Slavery Index (GSI) statistics shows that 7 out of 1000 Nigerians live in modern slavery, just as 74 per cent of Nigerians are generally vulnerable.

Senate however urged the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and other relevant federal government agencies to intensify surveillance, embark on awareness campaign with special focus on land, sea and air borders as a step towards curbing the prevalence of modem slavery.

The Senate also directed the Federal Ministry of Health to, as matter of urgency, provide relief materials and all other necessary support as may be necessary to the victims.

The upper chamber further urged the NAPTIP to set-up State Task Forces to fight against Modem Slavery and child trafficking in Kaduna State and replicate this across the whole country.

It mandated the Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, the Federal Ministry of Health, the NAPTIP, the Nigeria Police Force(NPF) and the Nigeria Immigration Service(NIS) to set up a joint Technical Team that will promote inter agency cooperation, deepen synergy for effective intelligence sharing and see to the eradication of forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and an end to child labour by 2030.

Senate however directs the police to abide by global best practice to avoid media parade of the victims so as to avoid their stigmatization and respect their fundamental rights.

In his lead debate, Senator Sani noted with serious concern that over 300 persons including 77 children were discovered by the police in chains in Rigasa, Igabi local government area in Kaduna State on Thursday September 26, 2019.

‘’That 147 persons most of whom are children and young adults were rescued from illegal religious rehabilitation centres in Rigasa LGA of Kaduna state on October 19, 2019. That 11 persons were rescued from two unauthorised rehabilitation centres in Zaria, Kaduna State on October 22, 2019. That the National Bureau of Statistics Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey reveals that 43 per cent of Nigerian children between the ages of 5 and 17 years are engaged in a child or forced labour’’.



Source: News Express

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