The National Council of Women Societies has urged the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons to curb human trafficking in the country.
Gloria Shoda, the National President of NCWS, made the appeal in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja.
Shoda advised the agency to ensure that Nigerians, especially women and children, do not fall victims to trafficking of persons currently going on around the world.
According to her, there is no day that we do not see images on our television screens of thousands of youths making the dangerous journey from Libya to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.
She said: “So many lives have been lost at sea and many are left to their fate in the hands of criminals.
“Many of our young girls and women are tricked and misled and end up in prostitution on the streets of Europe.
“This heart-rending activity trapping our women into danger and exploitation has to stop. We have to help our young women here at home and train them with skills that will set them up for life.’’
However, she commended NAPTIP for setting up desks at Nigeria’s international airports to ensure would-be trafficked persons are intercepted before they embark on these ill-fated journeys.
Shoda said sensitisation and public enlightenment efforts should be stepped up to educate the vulnerable against the futility of such journeys and forced labour, sex slavery and prostitution they risk.
She said: “It is quite unfortunate that many of our girls due to lack of information are deceived into thinking that a better fortune awaits them in Europe, fall into the hands of unscrupulous trafficking merchants.
“As we can see in recent weeks, not all Europeans welcome these migrants and asylum-seekers to their countries and their fate hangs now in the balance, subject to politicking.
“We all have a responsibility to be vigilant and contact the relevant agency, in this case NAPTIP, to inform them of any suspicious travel arrangements going on around us.
“The agency’s success depends on adequate information given to them to prevent any of these perilous journeys.’’
Shoda pledged her continuous support and commitment to the agency’s mandate.
She said: “As a women-oriented organisation, we are naturally concerned because one day it could be our daughters or sisters subjected to ill-treatment in the hands of people smugglers.
“Hence, we are fully aligning ourselves with NAPTIP’s preventive goals.’’