The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has decried the high rate of human trafficking in Nigeria, which he put at about 875,500 per annum, and called for concerted efforts to end the scourge.
Relying on the figures released by the Global Slavery Index, Ekweremadu also revealed that there were about 45.8 million people living in one form of slavery or the other in about 167 countries around the world.
He spoke at an event organised by Devatop Centre for Africa Development to mark the 2017 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons at the National Human Rights Commission Office, Abuja.
He regretted that Nigeria is a transit as well as destination of persons, including women and children trafficked for prostitution, forced labour, and other forms of dehumanising servitude and exploitation.
The lawmaker called for more concerted efforts by Nigerians and the international community to end the scourge.
He said: “Although human trafficking syndicates are themselves powerful and operate with the collaboration of corrupt persons in agencies entrusted with law enforcement and protection of persons across the world, the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is a reminder that the war against the scourge is one we are very capable of winning.
“It is a call to renew our resolve to not only track down and bring the perpetrators to book, but also to cut their supply chains”.
Ekweremadu said among other factors, poverty is at the centre of traffic in persons as it predisposes victims to desperation to escape into a false greener pasture, not knowing that they are jumping from the frying pan into the fire.