The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has made a strong case to the European Parliament for improved and sustained support that will strengthen the state government’s efforts to curb human trafficking and illegal migration.

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki (3rd right); European Parliament, Santiago Fisas; Chairperson, Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe (third left), at the European Parliament, in Brussels, Belgium.

Governor Obaseki, who said this during a session with the European Union Parliament Sub-Committee on Human Rights (DROI), in Brussels, Belgium, noted that the state government has created structures and set up institutions such as the Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking, to ensure reintegration of victims of human trafficking and illegal migration.

Part of the state government’s delegation is the Chairperson of the Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking and the state’s Commissioner for Justice/ Attorney General, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe.

The governor said that much as the institutional framework has been firmed up, the state also needs improved support for sustainable implementation of its programmes to curb human trafficking, which will serve to reintegrate returnees and provide teeming youths with on-demand skills to become employable and self-sufficient in the long run.

According to him, “We have a wholistic programme to curb human trafficking and illegal migration. Already, the campaign has gotten the backing of the Oba of Benin, whose support has proved instrumental to curbing the trend.

“Our programmes do not only stop at receiving and reintegrating returnees into society, but also include well laid out plans to rebuild institutions for capacity building and vocational training such that our youths would acquire globally-competitive skills to enable them lead better, fulfilling lives.”

Governor Obaseki earlier met with a member of the European Parliament Sub-Committee on Human Rights, Mr. Josef Weidenholzer, to firm up modalities for the European Union’s engagement with the state government on strategies for enduring solutions to human trafficking.

Governor Godwin Obaseki has led an all-out-war against human trafficking and illegal migration.

Edo state accounts for a considerable share of illegal migrants out of Nigeria to Europe, a good number of who die in the Mediterranean while attempting to cross to Europe. But the Governor Obaseki administration has sustained a campaign against the trend, with the signing of the law against human trafficking last June which has been hailed by experts and analysts as a major milestone in institutionalising the campaign.

The state government’s law prohibiting trafficking in persons signed into law provides an “effective and comprehensive legal and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention, detection, prosecution and punishment of human trafficking and related offences in Edo State.”

The European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights is responsible for “evaluating the implementation of EU instruments in the field of human rights and democracy, the right to hold the Commission and the Council accountable for their activities in this area and ensuring the continuous dialogue with international agencies working in the field of human rights in order to guarantee consistency between EU and international instruments in this field.

“The committee is also responsible for providing a platform for the analysis of human rights claims related to specific topics and/or regions and using this platform for input on human rights and democracy in reports to the Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs, agreements with third countries included.”

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