By Ozioruva Aliu, Benin-City
The United Nations yesterday in Benin City revealed that 70 percent of trafficked persons globally are women and children just as it rated Edo state high on its fight against human trafficking and illegal migration in the state.
United Nations Women Country Representative to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Ms Comfort Lamptey stated this at the launch of Preventing Forced Migration and Trafficking of Women and Girls in Nigeria held in Benin City, Edo state capital where the Deputy Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Tarez Chazli also commended Edo state on its anti-trafficking campaign.
According to Lamptey, three out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focused on trafficking in persons saying Goal 5 (Gender Equality), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and 16 (Peace Justice and Strong Institutions) were related to trafficking.
She said “Globally, UN Women has built a solid and robust knowledge-base and expertise in the areas of addressing gender, forced migration, and trafficking of women and girls. The starting point for our work is an acknowledgment of the disproportionate impact of trafficking on women and girls, who make up over 70 percent of persons trafficked globally. We recognize that structural inequalities, vulnerabilities and a lack of sustainable livelihoods are among the chief causes of trafficking. Indeed, trafficking is both parts of the continuum of labor exploitation and violence against women.
“Nigeria presents itself simultaneously as country of origin, transit, and destination for all streams of migration and trafficking. Beyond irregular migration, Nigeria also experiences significant trafficking. Women and children constitute the majority of those trafficked to Europe, as well as being irregular migrants to other African destinations and the Middle East. While there are dynamic shifts over time, the main sites of forced documented and undocumented migration and trafficking include Edo State, the Delta, and some Northern states.
Ms. Lamptey said the recent signing into law the bill prohibiting Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) by the state government was the right decision taken by the governor in reducing the scourge against forced migration and trafficking of women and girl-child in the state. “The project will support the Ministry to develop and prioritize actions under a Roadmap for Implementation of the VAPP Act.
On his part, Chazli, said the state government has proven itself to be a reliable partner in the fight against human trafficking adding that the Italian government was willing to assist in all possible ways to ensure that the fight is completely won.
Also speaking, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki represented by Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, chairperson, Edo State Task Force Against Human Trafficking/Attorney General and the Commissioner for Justice, said his government is very committed in its quest in making human trafficking and irregular migration a history in the state thus the huge financial investment in the human capacity development.