Consider Stiffer Punishment for Human Trafficking Offenders, NAPTIP DG Tells Judges

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Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi, Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), has urged judges to sentence trafficking offenders to the severity of their crimes.
Making this demand in a statement released on Monday by Vincent Adekoye, the agency’s Assistant Public Relations Officer, the DG encouraged the judiciary to apply the same level of sentence to incidents of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).
Ms Waziri-Azi, speaking at the opening session of a two-day capacity-building workshop organized by the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJN) in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute (NJI), lamented that in the past, some offenders often received light sentences, adding that the agency had recorded cases of repeat offenders, which posed a significant risk to society.
According to her, judges play critical roles in the eradication of human trafficking, the reduction of rapes, and the reduction of cases of SGBV. She also emphasized the importance of judges becoming familiar with the provisions of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015. (TIPPEA).
“The aim of the Act as stated in section 1 is to provide an effective and comprehensive legal and institutional frame work for the prohibition, prevention, detection, prosecution and punishment of trafficking offenders and other related crimes,” she said.
“The Act is also to promote and facilitate national and international cooperation. I am pleading with you all my Lords, the Judges to always consider the stiffer penalties and convictions that are commensurable with the magnitude of crime,” she added.
Waziri-Azi also said that the agency had convicted 519 traffickers and rescued and counseled 17, 727 victims.

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