Some 22 underage children who the military rescued in an anti-human trafficking operation in Nassarawa State, North Central Nigeria, have been handed over to the Kaduna State Government, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) said.
In a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, the Director-General of NAPTIP, Imaan Suleiman-Ibrahim, said the children were rescued by the military, who intercepted a Peugeot J5 vehicle where they were crammed with little ventilation, on Jan. 8.
The missing children, who had been taken from Kwasalo village in Ikara Local Government Area of Kaduna State to Nasarawa State for exploitative labour, were weak at the point of rescue, Suleiman-Ibrahim said.
The director-general decried the increasing rate of child trafficking and employment of children for exploitative labour in Nigeria and pledged a continued crackdown on those involved in human trafficking across the country.
She said that an investigation into the case was ongoing with all persons involved to be prosecuted.
Suleiman-Ibrahim called on state governments to devise effective strategies in dealing with child trafficking as it impacted negatively on them.
She commended the military for their professional conduct in the interception of the children and handing them over to the agency for appropriate action.