Thousands of girls from Delta State are trapped in Mali as victims of trafficking and exploitation

At least 10,000 women and girls from Delta State, Nigeria, are trapped in Mali and other African countries where they are being forced to work, in many cases as prostitutes. 

This statistic was announced by the Delta State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Peter Mrakpor, on 26 October at a symposium on human trafficking and irregular migration.

The rise in human trafficking, irregular migration and similar crimes is due to the degradation of morals and respect for human life and dignity, according to the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.

Mrakpor advised symposium attendees to collaborate with the Delta State Task Force on Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration and other relevant organisations to increase social awareness of the dangers of human trafficking and irregular migration among youths.

He said: “I’m calling on the corps members as well as all well-meaning Nigerians, NGOs, faith-based organisations, traditional rulers and community leaders to join hands in fighting human trafficking.”

Appealing to young people considering migration, Mrakpor said: “You don’t have to travel out of the country to be successful; it is a mindset. We have a growing economy that provides lots of opportunities.”

Mrakpor additionally criticised parents who sell their properties to raise funds for their children to engage in illicit trade and irregular journeys.

Delta State is notorious for human trafficking, coming in third after Edo and Kano for the most rescued victims, according to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP). The agency said it rescued 11,819 Nigerians from human traffickers up to December 2018.

“Many victims are deceived to leave their livelihoods in Nigeria for greener pastures in Mali. Some of the victims were abducted from Nigeria, including those that arrived in their school uniforms,” said the Director-General of NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli.

TMP – 07/11/2019