The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has expressed concern about the situation of Nigerian women who work as domestic workers in Iraq. NAPTIP’s Director General, Prof Fatima Waziri-Azi, issued a statement on Wednesday, revealing that the agency is investigating several fraudulent recruiters who are recruiting Nigerian women to work in Iraq for harsh servitude.
According to Prof Waziri-Azi, traffickers have now shifted their focus to Iraq. Female victims trafficked to Iraq have made pleas for rescue and repatriation, especially in the cities of Baghdad and Basra, where they are distributed to various homes by recruitment agents for a hard life of domestic servitude.
The victims endure long hours under harsh conditions and are constantly under threat of being harmed by their employers or Iraqi agents whenever they complain of unbearable workloads. Many of them have been admitted to hospitals several times due to the harsh conditions of their work. The victims are also sexually harassed, and their phones are often seized, making it difficult to communicate their location to rescuers.
Prof Waziri-Azi warned Nigerians to be cautious about traveling abroad to seek greener pastures. She assured that NAPTIP would continue to work with relevant agencies, ministries, and departments of government to ensure the safe return of victims from Iraq.