The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, has warned that employment of children below the age of 12 as domestic helps is now a criminal offence, which attracts a minimum jail term of two years with no option of fine.
The Director-General of NAPTIP, Mrs Beatrice Jedy Agba, who made this known while presenting the new Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act in Abuja yesterday, said “the Act has come into operation with effect from March 26th, 2015, which is the date that President Goodluck Jonathan assented to it”.
She added that “The New Act prohibits the employment of a child below the age of 12 years as a domestic help, while the exploitation of a child under the age of 18 years who is employed as a domestic help is also prohibited”.
Mrs. Agba recalled that the Agency in 2011, based on identified gaps in the TIP Act 2003 as amended in 2005, had proposed its re-enactment to enable NAPTIP and its partners combat trafficking in persons better than it was doing.
The DG added that the 2003 Act as amended had been repealed with the new one called Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.
She noted, “The repealed Act was fraught with deficiencies, grossly inadequate to effectively combat the scourge of Trafficking in Persons (TIP); several provisions in the Act were inconsistent with the requirements of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, while the criminal justice system was confronted with several offences which were not criminalised, as they were not anticipated at the time of the enactment of the Act”.