Sexual Offenders Register Not Aimed at Stigmatization, Says Osinbajo

A register of sexual offenders recently opened by government, through the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), is not aimed at stigmatizing anyone, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, has said.

The Vice-President, who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Social Protection Plan Mrs. Mariam Uwais, said that the Federal Government was concerned about the youths in the country and have demonstrated a clear willingness to tackle the issues affecting them.

He added that the government has come up with several empowerment schemes to engage youths in the country.

The Vice-President also said that the establishment of the sexual offenders register is not aimed at stigmatization but so the government can keep track of those convicted of sexual offences and prevent a reoccurrence of such acts.

He spoke in Abuja at a Public Lecture hosted by the NAPTIP to mark the 2019 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.

Osinbajo said, “The Federal Government of Nigeria is very concerned about the youths and takes any issue that affects them very seriously. We have demonstrated clear willingness to tackle this menace head on, and have come up with several empowerment schemes to engage the youths.

“The establishment of the Sexual offenders’ Register is not aimed at stigmatization, but it is a means through which government can keep track of those convicted of sexual offences, prevent reoccurrence of such acts, while safeguarding the lives and safety of victims of sexual offences.

“I specially commend NAPTIP for the initiative to produce a Country Report on Human Trafficking. For too long, we have left other countries and institutions to tell our story. This effort by NAPTIP is therefore welcome, because it puts before the world, the aggregate of programmes, policies and actions of Government at all levels and Nigeria at large in combating human trafficking, child labour and abuse.

“The fight against human trafficking is one that involves the whole of society and whole of government’s efforts at combating the ugly menace. The federal Government of Nigeria’s resolve to tackle this scourge remains unshaken and it is a fight we must win, for the sake of our future.”

Director General NAPTIP Julie Okah-Donli said over 14,000 victims of human trafficking have been rescued, rehabilitated and reintegrated back into their various communities.

She added that since the inception of the agency, it has secured 403 convictions and further strengthened the existing collaborations with various partners, as well as formed new alliances on all fronts to boost the fight against human trafficking in Nigeria and beyond.

“Since inception in 2003, NAPTIP has secured 403 convictions, with over 14,000 victims rescued, rehabilitated and reintegrated back into their various communities. The Agency has further strengthened the existing collaborations with various partners, as well as formed new alliances on all fronts to boost the fight against human trafficking in Nigeria and beyond.

“Recently, NAPTIP has successfully inaugurated State Task Forces to fight against Human Trafficking in Delta, Ondo and Ekiti States, in addition to the existing Taskforce in Edo State. We hope to replicate this in all 36 states of the federation, because it aims at getting the State and Local Governments to take proactive steps towards the combat of human trafficking in their domains.

“I wish to thank His Excellency, the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for agreeing to launch the Sex Offenders Register, which is aimed at making information about convicted sexual offenders available to people who need to know. The country report tells the Nigerian story, puts our narrative in the right perspective while commending the efforts of the Government at combating human trafficking,” Okah-Donli said.

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