Malian girls now trafficked into Edo for prostitution: NAPTIP

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) raised alarm in Benin on Sunday about the trafficking of Malian girls to the Edo capital for prostitution.

“We gathered intelligence reports that victims are now being trafficked from Mali into Benin for prostitution, and we are investigating,” Nduka Nwawenene, NAPTIP commander, Benin zonal office, said during a Road Walk.

He said over 20,000 girls were stranded in Mali, which used to be a destination for trafficked Nigerians.

“Now the reverse is the case as Malian girls are being trafficked into Nigeria,” Mr Nduka said.

NAPTIP organised the Walk to mark the 2023 World Day against Trafficking in Persons.

“Before now, we heard stories about Malian men ready to do anything to meet with Nigerian girls.

“Victims have confessed that they make more money in Mali and that Malian men would spend everything they had to get cosy with Nigerian girls.

“But now the reverse is the case; their girls are the ones coming to Benin, and we are investigating,’’ he said.

Speaking on the theme for the 2023 celebrations, Mr Nwawenene said all hands must be on deck to curb the trafficking, particularly of Persons with Disabilities, for exploitation and organ harvesting.

“We do not have the statistics of hearing-impaired persons already trafficked, but their group claims that some of them had been trafficked and that they were used for domestic jobs and other exploitation.

“Now that we have brought them into our fold, we will collect their statistics to enable NAPTIP to rescue and to rehabilitate them,’’ he said.

The World Day against Trafficking in Persons is observed annually on July 30.

The theme for the 2023 celebration is: “Reach every victim of trafficking, Leave no one behind’’.