A group, Africans Unite Against Child Abuse, has blamed corruption and poverty for the increasing number of Nigerian women and children who are attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.
In a statement it issued on Tuesday in commemoration of the 2016 Anti-Slavery Day, AFRUCA noted not less than 6,334 Nigerian women and children were trafficked across the Mediterranean Sea to Italy between January and August this year.
It said Nigerian children and young people accounted for the majority of Africans identified in the United Kingdom as victims of human trafficking.
AFRUCA said despite much effort by the UK government and other partners, human trafficking from Nigeria remained a major source of concern.
It said, “Many Nigerian victims have also been forced to undergo traditional juju oath rituals, binding them to their trafficker and making disclosures of their experiences intensely difficult.
“Criminal gangs continue to target vulnerable people with promises of success in Europe, before forcing them into exploitation and servitude, while ‘cultural’ practices such as the use of young domestic servants persist and maintain structures of domestic servitude abroad.
“This ongoing scourge is facilitated by issues such as the economic downturn in Nigeria, ongoing corruption, gaps in the education system and the persistent and powerful myth of the ‘better life’ abroad.
“More needs to be done to tackle the corruption and social factors which enable this criminality, with improved governance and a zero-tolerance stance prioritised. Safe migration strategies should also be supported.”
AFRUCA pledged to continue to fight for a world free of exploitation, “where children and young people are empowered, nurtured and made to feel safe.”
The post Corruption fuelling human trafficking – AFRUCA appeared first on Punch Newspapers.