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NAPTIP intensifies fight against “organ harvesting”

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) says it will liaise with Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) among others to curb illegal “organ harvesting” in the country. Julie Okah-Donli, who disclosed this at a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, described “organ harvesting” as a new dimension in human trafficking. Organ harvesting is a reality in many parts of the world where people are dubiously sedated on a surgeon’s table and their organs removed one after the other. The NAPTIP boss emphasised that such practice had become booming business in 21st century across the globe. She, however, said she had directed NAPTIP’s investigation department to liaise with the police in an event of any reported case of ritual murder to ensure that it was not a case of illegal harvesting of organs. She said “illegal organ harvesting and trafficking have become business ventures whereby organs of victims of human trafficking are harvested unwillingly and sold. “Trafficking for sexual and labour purposes seem no longer a quick money making venture for traffickers, who are not ready to wait for years for their investment to yield desired results. “Perpetrators have now found a quicker way in illegal harvesting of organs of unsuspected victims who are lured with various tricks. “Some are also informed that their organs will be taken for a fee and they will be taken care of but as soon as the organs are removed, promises made will not be fulfilled, while the victim is left to die.” Okah-Donli noted that some family members of sick people who got tired of being on the waiting list for organ transplant sometime resort to buying organs from “black market” without knowing the source of such organs. She emphasised that removal of organs for transplanting could only be carried out by professionals in medical field, saying that “in a bid to save our lives or lives of our beloved ones, we loss our humanity.” She urged NMA to conduct a “Soul Search” concerning its members’ involvement in such act. The director-general reiterated the agency’s commitment to engage Federal Ministry of Health to tackle the menace in the country. “My vision and determination is to present a specialised crime fighting agency that will be foremost in the suppression and elimination of trafficking in persons with specific attention on awareness creation, advocacy, enforcement of law, capacity development. “I am also determined to ensure comprehensive rehabilitation of victims of human trafficking to enhance the dignity of all persons in line with international best practice.”

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