Abuja - The United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) said that 3.2 billion dollars was generated from an estimated 2.5 million people trafficked across the globe annually.
Ms Mariam Sissoko, the UNODC Representative in Nigeria, stated this in Abuja on Monday at a one-day training for police officers in charge anti-human trafficking units and juvenile welfare centres in the country.
Sissoko said that the illicit trade brought the huge profit to traffickers, but misery, pains, frustration, deprivation, trauma and denial of opportunities for self actualisation to the victims.
Represented by Ann Ikpeme, Officer in Charge of Anti-human Trafficking in the organisation, she said that trafficking in persons was one of the most lucrative forms of the transnational crimes after drugs and firearms.
``Global estimates suggest that 2.5 million people are trafficked annually. Sexual exploitation is by far the most common (76 per cent) identified form of trafficking at international levels,'' she said.
Sissoko said that all stakeholders needed to be regularly informed of the new trends and modes adopted by the traffickers to be able to deal with the issue.
``The police can also be regarded as frontline officers for the interception of traffickers and victims, as they are also based at the borders,’’ she said.
Also speaking, the Minister of Women Affairs, Zainab Maina, called for the accelerated implementation of the Child Rights Act 2003.
Represented by an official of the ministry, Mr Felix Nwaeseni, Maina said 23 out of the 36 states had so far adopted the Child Rights Act.
She added that out of the 23 states, only nine had structures for family courts out of which two were operational.
The minister said efforts were ongoing to ensure that the remaining 13 states adopted it.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, said the training was meant to expose the officers to global standards of dealing with human trafficking, child abuse and domestic violence against children and women.
Abubakar noted that although there were human trafficking and child abuse cases in the country, not much was being done in terms of investigation, arrest and prosecution of offenders.
``Human trafficking exists in this country. It is on record that several persons have been involved and arrested, but there is very little in terms of investigation and prosecution of such cases.
``Therefore, as officers responsible and in charge of this department, you must pay special attention to this seminar to ensure that you acquire the knowledge with which to discharge your responsibility,’’ he said.
He warned that they would be held accountable for failure to deal with reported cases of human trafficking, child abuse and domestic violence against children and women in their respective commands.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that more than 50 officers in charge of police Anti-Human Trafficking Units and Juvenile Welfare Centres in the 36 states and FCT attended the training.