The National Agency for the Prohibition in Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters, , has lamented the weak anti-trafficking laws currently in operation in the country, saying sale of new babies is on the increase.
The Executive Secretary of the agency Beatrice Jedy-Agba raised the alarm during an interactive session with newsmen in Abuja, as she called for strengthen the relevant laws by providing stiffer penalties.
According to Jedy-Agba, the perpetrators of child trafficking are abusing adoption process, using unsuspecting victims for forced labour and prostitution.
She explained that the Agency’s investigation into increasing cases of sale of babies in some parts of the country, she said, revealed that adoption process is being grossly abused.
She therefore called on State Governments to work towards the implementation of the Child’s Rights Act by domesticating it.
The NAPTIP boss also urged the state Ministries of Women Affairs and other related agencies to closely monitor the adoption processes and oversight organisations authorized to work on child related matters.
On what is being done to arrest the situation, she said: “This year, NAPTIP hopes to increase engagement with representatives of destination countries, partners and sister law enforcement organizations within and outside the country to forge close ties that will yield better cooperation and sustainable response to this fight.”
According to Jedy-Agba, the agency in 2013 proposed an amendment to the NAPTIP enabling Act to the National Assembly with a view to blocking the lapses.
She opined that the amendment, if passed, would bring the nation’s anti-trafficking legislation in conformity with the trafficking in persons protocol, including clearer definition of the offences, removing the option of fine and increasing penalty for traffickers.