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Nigeria’s ranking as top criminal market endangers women, NFF raises alarm

The recent ranking of Nigeria as one of the 10 criminal markets globally for human trafficking, firearms and other vices, is a clear and present danger structured to harm women and girls, says the Nigerian Feminist Forum (NFF).

The Forum in a statement issued by its NFF Communications Officer, Angela Nkwo, on Monday considered the 2021 Global Organized Crime Index rating as disturbing and demanded a call to action.

According to the index, the countries with the highest levels of criminality are those that are experiencing conflict or fragility, and these countries are particularly vulnerable to organized crime.

The NFF said it was disturbed at the ranking which showed that women “are clearly endangered species in the light of human trafficking, trafficking, firearms, illicit cannabis, heroin trade, financial crimes, synthetic drugs, and non-renewable resource crime”.

Already, Nigeria is experiencing one of the highest forms of criminality, conflict, and organized crime with women and girls being the biggest victims, noted the NFF.

It equally observed that drug use, rising job loss and inflation rates are contributing to brain drain and loss of confidence in the Nigerian dream, while the authorities appear unbothered.

The NFF therefore, made the following demands:
“We call on the federal government to initiate urgent steps to address human trafficking, firearms, illicit cannabis and heroin trade, synthetic drugs, and non-renewable resource crimes.

“We call for the creation of jobs and grants for people to earn economic power.

“Establishment of counselling centres across Nigeria to help people deal with trauma and other associated concerns.

“Urgent and proactive measures to address insecurity, insurgency, crime, and criminality beyond the regular assurances of safety.

“Prosecution of persons perpetrating violence. Every state should sign the Violence Against Persons Prohibition bill into law.

“We demand a safe Nigeria for women and girls! We demand a safe and peaceful environment for Women and girls! We demand an end to crime and criminality and its effect on Nigerian women and girls.”

The group further noted that Nigeria has recently been enmeshed in banditry, armed robbery, smuggling, trafficking, cattle rustling and terrorism which has left thousands of women and girls internally displaced in transit camps, forced marriages and very many dead.

“No doubt, substance abuse has contributed to the surge of criminality in Nigeria, and we cannot continue to pretend all is well. Even as the attendant effects have resulted in crime, insurgency, insecurity, killings, kidnapping, maiming, rape, and many more.

“The insecurity associated with farming has resulted in exorbitant prices of foodstuffs, high unemployment figures, economic hardship, and worsening inflation.

“We are worried that if urgent steps are not taken, there will be a surge in out of school children, child marriages, homelessness, job loss, baby factories, sexual and labour trafficking of women and girls, and mental health problems.

” Daily, thousands of Nigerian women and girls grapple with long term mental health effects of violence, ranging from difficulty sleeping, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem amongst others caused by violence triggered by drug use.”

The NFF is a biennial public policy forum that brings together self-identifying feminists, who through feminist principles challenge the system of power, promote the learning and teaching of feminist principles and universality of women’s rights.

“We take a holistic approach to women’s human rights with a focus on equality of sexes and freedom of choice. The NFF advocates for legal frameworks that guarantee access to sexual and reproductive health rights, challenge patriarchy, stereotypes and discrimination and ending violence against women and girls”, the statement added.

Written by ExpressDay

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