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Female Victims of Human Trafficking for Domestic Labor on the rise - NAPTIP, Nigeria

By Pamela Ephraim

We are inundated with pleas for rescue and repatriation from female victims trafficked to Iraq. (Photo: UN)

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has raised the alarm over the plight of Nigerian women working as domestic workers in Iraq.

In a statement issued by NAPTIP's Director General, Prof Fatima Waziri-Azi, on Wednesday, the agency disclosed that it is currently investigating several rogue recruiters who have been reported to be massively recruiting Nigerians to Iraq for harsh servitude.

While speaking at the agency's headquarters in Abuja, Prof Waziri-Azi said traffickers have now shifted attention to Iraq.

"We are inundated with pleas for rescue and repatriation from female victims trafficked to Iraq, especially to the cities of Baghdad and Basra where they are distributed to various homes by their recruitment agents to a hard life of domestic servitude.

"Available information shows many of the victims have been admitted in the hospital several times due to long hours under harsh conditions. They are constantly under threat of being harmed either by their direct employees or Iraqi agents each time they complain of unbearable workload," she said.

She added that many of the victims were constantly being sexually harassed and their phones seized and were not allowed out of the premises where they work.

"Even when communication is established with them for rescue, they cannot give details of their location because they don't know where they are," Prof Waziri-Azi added.

The NAPTIP DG, therefore, warned Nigerians to be cautious about the desperate quest of traveling abroad to seek greener pastures, promising that NAPTIP will continue to work with relevant agencies, ministries and departments of government to ensure the safe return of victims from Iraq.

Source: Leadership


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