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Exploitation of children: Operators of hotels, brothels warned by NAPTIP

*We shall clamp on you heavily when caught

Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Julie Okah-Donli, has warned operators of hospitality and recreation centres including hotels and brothels across the country involved in harbouring children for the provision of sexual services to desist from such practices as operatives of the Agency were set to clamp down on them.

She said that the provisions of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015 prohibits the harbouring of any person under the age of 18years in such places. She stressed that any Hotel, Brothel or recreation facility that runs foul of this law will not be spared by the law.

She said, ‘’the trafficking in Persons Act 2015 is very clear on this and we will not allow the abuse and exploitation of our children in hotels, brothels and other recreation facilities across the country to continue unabated. Our children should at this age be in schools to learn and develop properly and not be in hotels and brothels being used as sex objects by criminals. We will engage our sister law enforcement agencies in a collaborative operation to ensure compliance and anyone found culpable will face the music as we must implement this law to the letter irrespective of who the owners of such facilities may be’’.

The NAPTIP boss gave the warning at a strategic meeting with some partners in Abuja. While exchanging views on the unwholesome activities of some brothel operators in the country, she added that operatives of the Agency have been detailed to commenced spontaneous raid of suspected brothels and other questionable relaxation centre suspected of habouring children, with a view to not only setting those innocent children free, but prosecuting the operators.

She said, “I wish to use this opportunity to sound a note of caution to operators of relaxation centres across the country that NAPTIP will no more tolerate a situation where promising female children of Nigeria are used to satisfy the immoral appetite of their customers. Those who are in the habit of keeping our under aged children in brothels and other exploitative points should open the doors and let them regain their freedom, otherwise, they will have operatives of NAPTIP to contend with very soon. It is no more business as usual.

“Available intelligence indicated that hundreds of relaxation centres and brothels that are not registered with Nigeria Tourism Development Board or any other regulatory government institutions are operating presently, keeping hundreds of our girls and even boys in some cases as money making ventures, sexually exploiting them on daily basis.

“NAPTIP seriously frowns at this evil act and as such, operatives of the Agency have been detailed to commence sting operations in some of the identified black spots and any centre found wanting in this regards shall not only be sealed up, but the operators shall be made to face the law”.

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