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MEPN Alerts Youths On Human Traffickers’ New Tricks



Amid concerns that over 1,443 persons had died in the Mediterranean this year, a Germany-based Migration Enlightenment Project Nigeria (MEPN) has called on those planning to migrate to seek independent information so that they do not fall easy prey to the deceit of human traffickers.

MEPN, a Nigerian diaspora initiative, in a statement issued to mark this year’s world day against trafficking in persons, said irregular migration was being driven by people smugglers who employ lies to deceive would-be emigrants.

Quoting figures released by the UN’s international organisation for migration on July 19, the statement, signed by co-project directors, Kenneth Gbandi and Femi Awoniyi, said more than 1,443 persons had died in the Mediterranean so far this year, adding that “this is not counting those who may have lost their lives crossing the Sahara Desert or in Libya”.

The MEPN pointed out that despite the commendable efforts of the federal government to evacuate stranded Nigerians in Libya, thousands are still trapped in the transit countries and not able to continue their journey to Europe. “Many are subjected to forced labour and sexual exploitation and most are exposed to serious human rights abuses. We have a crisis on our hands! The rising human costs of irregular migration have necessitated concerted action from governments and voluntary groups,” the MEPN said in the statement.

The group, which is currently carrying out a follow-up campaign in major Nigerian cities, called on youths to imbibe a realistic approach to migration.

“They should not believe the easy promises of traffickers whose only concern is to collect money from their clients without bordering on what happens to them during the perilous journey,” the statement read.