As the struggle for greener pastures abroad among able bodied young Nigerian citizens continues unabated, the United Nations Country Representative to Nigeria, and ECOWAS, Ms Comfort Lamptey, had revealed that, over 75% of victims trafficking for sexual exploitation are females.
Lamptey who was represented by Aminat Tope Abdulrahman, Programme Analyst, UN Women made the statement at an event organized by CLEEN Foundation at a Media and Civil Society roundtable, on “Human Trafficking and Forced Migration, ” Benin city, Edo state, said, the event is to plan to sensitize, educate and inform partakers about the ills of trafficking in persons, and forced migration.
She said:” trafficking in Persons, especially, women and children, for all forms of exploitation, including sexual exploitation is one of the worst violations of human rights, and should be condemned. It is a high gender crime, that erode our quest for sustainable human capital and economic development.
“Most of the victims of trafficking in Persons detected across the world are females. Mainly adult women, but also increasingly girls. Majority (over 75%} of the detected Victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation are females. 35% of the victims trafficked for forced labour are also females. Both women and girls. More than half of the victims of trafficking for forced labour are men. We all need to join hands together to give these two crimes the required attention in tackling them by using a gender, a lens. It is imperative for the media and CSOs saddled with the duties of fact sharing and management to be well informed about the two crimes. Today is an attestation to our avowed dedication to nip the scourges of Trafficking in Persons and Forced Migration in the bud.
” In the interest of the present and future generations of Nigerians. UN women enjoin all to increase and sustain our commitment by ensuring that, all hands are put on deck to checkmate these assaults, on human dignity,” she stated.
In her remarks, the Acting Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation, Mrs. Ruth Olofin, said, the body recognized the strategic importance the media and CSOs played in mobilizing public support and involvement to help prevent and fight trafficking,” owing to their reach and their ability to mold public opinions. It is on this basis the NGO is organising the event to build a workable coalition between the media and the Civil Society in the combat against human trafficking and forced labour.”
” The trafficking of girls and women from Nigeria to Italy, other European and African countries is a serious phenomenon. As the volume keeps growing steadily and rising to levels that call for concern.
“Traffickers and their agents in the communities who benefit greatly from the profits of human trafficking constitute major problems in solving this plights in the states where the crime is prevalent. The success of curbing any societal problem depends largely on effective communication of the facts, circumstances and issues on this menace.”
Given her speech, the Edo State Executive Director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mrs Grace Ewere Aseka, said, NOA has been working assidously with the various stakeholders in Edo state, in sensitizing the public about the dangers and problems of human trafficking and forced labour in Edo state.
She added that, the media and CSOs are opinion molders, enlightenment and vehicles for social change.
Also, the Benin Zonal Commander of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons ( NAPTIP), represented by the Head, Counselling and Rehabilitation Unit, Stephen Selowo, the media and CSOs are forceful tools that can be used to reduce human trafficking in Nigeria.
He equally urged the Media, CSOs and other stakeholders in the Society to work collectively in order to curb the menace, in the state and Nigeria at large.
Comments from the NUJ chairman in Edo state, Comrade Roland Osakwe, said the traffickers always capitalize on the rural areas to get their Victims.
Comrade Osakwe said, the traffickers go to communities to lure underaged girls for sexual exploitation and thanked the organizers for the event.
Speaking, the President of Congos, Comrade Daisy Abiola, said, she is very confident that, there is a lot to learn, gain and take home after the end of the occasion. She commended the organizers for putting the event together at this crucial time.
In her closing statement, the Assistant Programme Admin Officer, Blessing Eromon, thanked participants for finding time to grace the occasion.