The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons has advised state governments taking their indigenes among returnees to provide standard medical care and rehabilitation for them.
The Director-General of NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli, gave the advice while fielding questions from the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday.
Okah-Donli explained that proper rehabilitation was necessary because many of the returnees were coming from prisons and require some debriefing, change of mindset and orientation before being reintegrated into the society.
She said: “Those states which had come to the camp in Port Harcourt to receive their indigenes should ensure that they are properly rehabilitated because releasing them into the streets like that may spell doom for the country and damage its image.
“We insist that any state government that is interested in the rehabilitation and reunification of the returnees from their states must meet the minimum standards for sheltering, rehabilitation and reunification of victims.
“The standards are available for any state government that is interested.
“The guideline can be accessed on the agency’s website: www.naptip.gov.ng.
“These returnees are human beings that must be properly reintegrated into the society with all their rights and dignity, and such must be respected and protected.
“Some of them may be infected with communicable diseases and it is not proper for such persons to be integrated to the society without being treated.”
The director-general said it was unfortunate that in spite the huge resources and energy by government and other stakeholders in the fight against human trafficking, “some citizens still engage in the perilous journey into the unknown”.
Okah-Donli vowed that her agency would continue to intensify its awareness campaign to sensitise Nigerians on the adverse effects of such acts.