The Journalist International Forum for Migration (JIFORM) has called for a multidimensional approach from nations to tackle human trafficking.
The President, JIFORM, Mr Ajibola Abayomi, disclosed this in a statement made available to the journalists on Monday in Abuja.
Abayomi noted that human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery that involves the illegal trading of people for exploitation or commercial gains to the tune of US$150 billion as the second-largest crime network, according to the UN.
He called for more support for anti-human trafficking agencies, coupled with intra- and inter-agency collaborations within and outside nations.
He said that Africa needs deliberate and sincere steps to revamp its economy in order to eradicate poverty, enthrone youth and women empowerment, and create multilateral platforms, especially between Africa and the Middle East.
This, he said, would help to facilitate negotiations for decent work for African migrants as being championed by Dr Princess A.K Ocansey, a member of the African Union Labour Migration Advisory Committee from Ghana.
He commended the Nigerian Government, saying it deserves “a path on the back” for the commendable fight against human trafficking over the years through the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP).
“However, there are still gaps to cover in the areas of preventive tactics, full commitment to financial needs and budget of NAPTIP and upgrading of the agency as both uniform cum arm-bearing outfit.
“Africa, starting from Nigeria, the most populous black nation that ranks 32 out 167 countries with the highest number of slaves put at 1,386,000, is in dire need of realistic economic strategy.
“This is needed to achieve its 2063 agenda, particularly the 20th agenda on the framework that anticipates the continent to take full responsibility for its financing and development, including incomes, jobs, decent work, action against poverty, inequality, hunger, and social security.
“The fact remains that two-thirds of the money from the illicit human trafficking figure (US$99 billion) is generated from commercial sexual exploitation.
“While another US$51 billion results from forced economic exploitation, including domestic work, agriculture, and other economic activities through the smuggling routes from East, North and West Africa to Europe is said to generate US$150 million in annual profits (US$35 billion globally) for human trafficking,” he said.
Abayomi further said that the UN’s report positioned Africa as the prevalent zone recording 9.24 million slaves with high vulnerability as one of the most affected zones of human trafficking, estimated by the Global Slavery Index in July 2018.
He said that the above indicated that there were 40.3 million victims of modern slavery worldwide, 71% of whom were women and girls and 25% of which were children.
“As at January 7, 2019, the number of children in slavery (at almost one-third of all global victims), 99% of the 4.8 million victims of commercial sexual exploitation in 2016 were women and girls, with one in five being children (ILO 2017).
“Women and girls represented 84% of the 15.4 million people in forced marriages, and 59% of those in private forced labour, as stated by Alliance 2017 Report, of these lots, Africans are in large numbers.
“To this end, every hand must be on the deck in Africa and other continents to halt the heinous crime against humanity,” he said.