Nigerians,especially girls and women, arebeing trafficked all over the globe by baronsoperating under the cover of God-sent aunties, uncles and friends.Many are nowlanguishing in confinement as slaves serving the selfish desires of theirtraffickers while their parents wait in vain to hear or read fromthem.
Triggeringalarm on the dangerous state of Nigerians underthis situation, thedirector-general of the NAPTIP, Dame Donli told a stunned gathering of wives of first class traditionalrulers in the Niger Delta last year, that girls are now endangered by therenewed trend of escaping from the country in search of greener pastures.Shesaid women and girls are exposed to more risks including forced marriage,trafficking and other forms of violence.
“Young boysand girls are being sexually exploited,lured with promises of luxury outsideonly to face prostitution. One of the worst forms of human rights violation isto be sold to several hands.
TheAssociation Against Child, Sexual Abuse and Gender Based Violence, AAACSGBV inassociation with L’Hadessah Development Initiative to tackle this menace, launched the #Not ForSale Campaign on June 8, 2019 at the Delta State Innovation Hub.
SpecialAdviser to DrIfeanyiOkowa, Delta State governor on…commended the organizers and all who have tasted human traffickingand come out survivors as she called on all to work to end trafficking which seriouslynegates the 17 sustainable goals set up by the UN to make society better by2030.
GenevieveMordi said over 100 young Nigerians are living in the UK as modern day slaves.
“Recentfindings reveal that over 100 persons are living as modern day slaves in the UKand this is shocking and every hand must be on deck to contribute his or herquota by any positive possible measure, to eradicate this. The SustainableDevelopment Goals set by the United Nations General Assembly cannot be achievedas long as you have humans living as slaves in any part of the world.
“We all arecreated equal by God and this is working against every one of the 17 SDGs. Ittherefore is inhuman and sad to realize that 150 years after Abraham Lincoln ofthe US issued his parliamentary emancipation proclamation there is stillslavery in this modern time.Human trafficking is tilted towards both genderthoughmore towards the female gender”.
She urgedyouths to be guided by the stories of those who were victims but have turnedright.
“When Idrive around the city of Asaba, I see billboards of persons who went the otherway and later turned around. Testimonies of these ladies are essential. I hopethat the testimonies will make a difference in your life. The testimonies ofthese ladies are essential. It is likely greener on the other side but younglives are marked for organs, when people are about to die, they hunt for organsand illegal immigrants become easy targets”
She notedthat not only illegal migrants are at the risk of being trafficked.
“The truthis that even with legal papers, you have to have a focus. When I went to school(in the US), I had to be focused. My father wanted me to study Law. I faced mybooks; I had no bed, sat on the floor for years. I didn’t watch TV, justconcentrated on reading.
“Seeingbillboards of your people who conquered abuse, they all made it here. If Ididn’t have a foundation here, one of hard work and moral, I would not havesucceeded. You will not succeed outside without a good foundation”.
She advisedthe young to be focused to avoid losing track.
“Distinguishbetween wrong and right. Even when you go outside legally, people will stillcome to lure you. If they come and tell you stories stand for what is right.What you know is wrong is wrong. My father died while I was three years in theUS and my colleagues came with an invitation to attend a party for which wewould be paid $500 and that was a good sum and I needed money. I asked myself,why would anybody pay me as much as $500 for attending a party?And laterbecause of my strong moral upbringing, I said no, let me face my study. Theywent- my fellow Nigerian and two other African girls. Later through a churchtestimony, we learnt they were abused. They were drugged, in pains; animalsused some of them and two later became ill and died two years later.
“Humantrafficking is everywhere. If they come and tell you stories even in legaltravel, focus on what you came for; make your parents proud. I salute all whosaw trafficking and conquered. I salute Jonathan who was enslaved in Libya butbecame a survivor.
“Anyone whois thinking illegal migration, change your mindset. Travelling abroad should bedone through legal means. Organs of persons aged between 16 and 25 years are inhigh demand. Some migrants end up as sex slaves or human organs to meet healthneeds of the west. That is why some are never heard of. Once they know you areillegal, you become a legal target”.
To end theabuse, Genevive advised: “The new language to end this slavery should besetting a new vision, a new mindset and determination to attain self-esteem foroneself, and family admiration”.
Flagging offthe Red Card to traffickers, a thriving artist Miss Blessing Leega, was pickedby the UKaid because she had invitation that would have led to her beingtrafficked but turned it down. She devoted her time to her hobby which ispainting but her father refused her going into it fulltime. She secretlypursued her passion and kept on pushing until she was discovered by herfriend’s father who bought her work with a huge sum of money. His friend sawthe paintings and awarded Blessing a contract of a higher amount.
Blessing isnow in the University of Benin and gets commissioned to do paintings which hasenabled her become both a model to young girls and an employer as she has over30 young girls as pupils and staff under her, including those who have tastedtrafficking.
The ‘Say NoTo Trafficking’ was attended by the zonal director NAPTIP, staff of NAPTIP,Delta State, non-governmental organizations in the state including CAS2030representatives, state government officials and young girls including sometraffic survivors.