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A Case For Collective Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking

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Over the last decades, human traffcking has captured signifcant attention world wide. BLESSING BATURE in this report writes on the need for all actors at the international, regional and local levels to cooperate, coordinate and share responsibility in combatting human traffcking.

A Human traffcking is a worldwide epidemic that deprives women, men and children of their basic rights each day. It has been recognized as one of the fastest growing crimes in the world that profts from the exploitation and victimization of human beings and undermines national economy and human safety.

Virtually all countries are affected, acting as countries of source, transit, destination or a combination thereof. Over the last decades, human traffcking has captured signifcant attention worldwide and raised awareness on the different forms of exploitation and its consequences.

As businesses become more globalized and borders open, the transfer of people, both willing and forced, is becoming more widespread contributing to unprecedented growth of human traffcking such as Increasing levels of inequality, both globally and internally, encourage millions of disadvantaged individuals to migrate internationally and internally. As migrants search for more economic opportunities outside their homes, some end up in coerced work by the use of threat or deception. Although the number of humans traffcked is not known, it is estimated that there are at least 700,000 traffcked victims globally each year.

It is clear that human traffcking poses a problem at both the local and global levels. There is an urgent need of local, national, regional and international cooperation to combat this exploitation, from government offcials to law enforcers, health care professionals to education offcials. society and Local governments in particular play a key role in improving human traffcking prevention, victim protection and prosecution of traffckers.

While it is clear that the global community is committed to counter human traffcking, there is still much to be done to eradicate this crime. The multifaceted and clandestine nature of human traffcking poses a challenge for effective prevention, victim protection and prosecution related measures and policies. Its linkages with illegal migration, labor issues and health problems underline the complexity of the problem and demand different approaches from all actors.

It is crucial now more than ever for actors at the international, regional and local levels to cooperate, coordinate and share responsibility in the fght against human traffcking. Law enforcers, local and national governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations are among the key actors at the forefront of this fght.

 

In particular, society and local governments play a signifcant role in reducing the vulnerability of potential victims, providing support and assistance to presumed and current victims, and implementing development strategies that address the root causes of traffcking.
Despite rigorous policies all across the world against human trafficking those questions remains very subsistence but still makes every effort to abolish Trafficking imperception, Child and women trafficking in Nigeria is not a socio-legal issue but is deeper than that hence, requires a comprehensive strategy needs to be drawn to fight the crime. Every country has different root causes for trafficking which is influenced by socio, religious and economic factors.

Political instability, militarism, civil unrest, internal armed conflict and natural disaster may result in an increase in trafficking. The destabilization and displacement of population increase their vulnerability to exploitation and abuse in trafficking.

Trafficking in women for exploitation is the most prevalent form of evil at this point of time. Women and children from different countries are lured by the promise of decent employment into leaving their homes and what they consider to be a better life.

There is a trafficking for forced labour in which people are recruited by deception and find themselves in condition of slavery in variety of jobs. Trafficking in organs for purposely using it especially kidney is a risin form of criminal activity being witnessed in the various countries; the operation of the patient is done in a very clandestine manner without any medical follow-up which also exploits the potential donors.

Child marriage is also considered to be a major modus operandi of child trafficking and there has hardly been any respite from this rampant social evil even after the passing of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006. The abuse of women and children has severe
Poverty and Unemployment has conspicuously leads unprivileged people to come into the suasion of traffickers and chose the wrong method of earning money without knowing that they are being made victim of a very inhuman crime.

Lack of employment makes easy for traffickers to persuade victims from different walks of life and bring them into unethical forces of world for earning their livelihood. One of the most infamous consequences of trafficking is child labour, small kids taken by culprits and influencing their parents by grabbing their confidence that their brood would be given jobs and will be paid for their work but what happens is totally contradicting. The boys are sent to construction sites whereas girls are taken to borstals and misused in various other ways.

Poverty forces folks to take steps without being aware of the consequences, in some cases individuals are forced to sell their organs and get a huge amount in their hands and at that time scarcity of resources bequeath them with nothing else than accepting the offer. There have been cases where father have sold his kidney to get money for his daughter marriage and give dowry to the boy, which is the most deplorable site of our country.

Ignorance has been the most crucial factor for trafficking in Nigeria which should be taken care of as soon as possible. Small villages person are especially the ones who are targeted because they are the ones who are tried to influenced due to their less exposure towards big metropolitan cities where all these types of crimes takes place and are used as a business hub where they convert all such person brought from different parts of country into such kind of felony.

However the issue of Prostitution can not be left out as it has become a highly profitable business; commercial sex trade has been chief destination for trafficked girl in nigeria. The trafficking of girls from forced prostitution is perhaps one of the busiest slave sex trafficking routes anywhere in the world; with estimated 5,000-10,000 , Sometimes this crime is committed forcefully and sometimes it is done out of sheer necessity by young girls when they leave their home in order to earn money but could not succeed in their process.

It is the darkest side of the country where girls have to adopt for such methods to earn their livelihood and unfortunately our country is one of those. Many politicians talk about legalising the profession but it would help only those women who choose to do it with their consent not the victims to trafficking.

And the inaction on the part of government and lack of consideration to matter may facilitate trafficking; few corrupt government officials may indulge in trafficking which is very shameful on their behalf.

Existing regulation are out dated and hence are ineffective in handling the problem, combating this crime needs regulation, monitoring, investigation and prosecution with constant cooperation with colleagues in other countries. Many governments have not implemented national policies that coordinate the work of various branches that deal with trafficking, including law enforcement agencies.

National immigration policies can inadvertently affect trafficking routes. Weak border controls and untrained officials make it simple for the traffickers to transport victims from one country to another. Government policies should be such that adequate training should be given to officials so that they recognize the instance of trafficking and ensure that needs of victims of trafficking are addressed.

Directives should be such which not only save the victims from trafficking but also lead to trafficked people swiftly being returned to home and same conditions from where they were brought furthermore not being identified as victims of crime. Corruption among government officials can include asking bribe from traffickers or extracting profit from trafficking industry. There should be internal affairs departments within the government structure as well as prosecution of government officials who are found involved in such types of commotion.

In an effort to stem the tide of human trafficking in Edo State and Nigeria in General, the traditional ruler during an advocacy visit of the Director-General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli to His Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II Ogidigan, Oba of Benin Kingdom, in Benin City, the Edo State capital, the Director-General had led a team of NAPTIP officials to the Royal father to enlist the support of the traditional institution in Edo State and in particular the Benin Kingdom in the fight against human trafficking bearing in mind the endemic nature of the State in human trafficking and the image problem accompanying that status.

She urged the Oba of Benin to join NAPTIP in its renewed efforts at stopping the juju priests in Benin from further administering oaths on victims of human trafficking that are brought to them by criminal elements.

She said, ‘’We are doing our best in sensitising the juju priests against the practice and many have assured us that they will no longer administer oaths on the victims, but as a respected Royal Father in this land whose words are respected, I respectfully implore Your Majesty to use your good offices to talk to these juju priests and the chiefs involved. You may wish to summon all of them and talk to them, and we are ready to join Your Majesty to sensitise them on the effects of their actions on the helpless young people.

‘’Many of the young people that have left may never come back as they are dead and their parents are still hoping that they will come back some day with loads of money, while many have lost their minds as a result of the exploitation they have gone through’’.

She also enjoined the Royal Father to bring the issue of human trafficking to the front burner within the fold of the traditional institutions across the country.

‘’Every victim of human trafficking has come from a community before being a Nigerian and one of the responsibilities of the traditional institution apart from upholding the culture and tradition of the land is to protect and defend the people that they lead’’, she further added.

In his response, the Oba of Benin who commended NAPTIP on its activities over the years declared his commitment to fight the menace, adding that he had done it in the past when he was the Nigerian Ambassador to Italy. He said it was for that reason that he established the Oba of Benin Foundation. The Foundation has Miss Ifueko Aideyan as the FACE OF OBA OF BENIN FOUNDATION.

‘’NAPTIP has been doing a very wonderful work in fighting human trafficking and everyone sees it. I know it is a difficult and challenging work but we are behind you’’, he said.

He however, directed officials of the Foundation and members of his cabinet to work with NAPTIP as partners to fight the scourge in Benin. He also warned perpetrators of the heinous act to stay away from Benin as the trade has brought more sorrow than joy to the people.

While condemning the enslavement of Nigerians in Libya, he disclosed how shocked he was when he heard that many of the victims were able bodied men and women who packed up their businesses, sold all they had to embark on they journey and later became slaves.

‘’If anyone wants to travel, he should travel legally’’, he said
He also frowned at the activities of the native doctors and the juju priests in the trafficking chain but assure that the Palace will call them to order.

‘’We have noted the activities of the native doctors or the juju priests as you call them. We will do our best to discourage them from getting involved in this crime. We will appeal to them. We will talk directly to them to stop what they are doing. We will call them to order and I believe they will listen to us’’, he further added.

While calling for a tripartite arrangement amongst the Federal, States and traditional institutions in the fight against trafficking, he stated that the leadership of Churches should also be called to order as some of their activities encourage human trafficking.
Curbing the menace of trafficking in persons, it requires a corporate efforts, everyone has a role to play.

INDIGENES of Edo State in Europe and America under the aegis of Edo Global Organisation, a pan Edo socio-cultural organisation in the diaspora, have expressed their support for the curses placed by the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare 11, on human traffickers, saying the curses and state government’s tough stance on human trafficking, will check excesses of the perpetrators.

President, Edo Global Organisation, Dr. Stephen Ogbonmwan, said drastic times the Edo people found themselves called for the drastic measures.

He said: “What happened in the palace shows the concern of the Omo N’Oba to the current negative trend in Edo land. We need more of such actions from religious, political and traditional leaders to stop our youths from sliding the slope to self destruction, greed, excessive love for money and the get-rich-quick syndrome, to get back to the straight and narrow path.

“The behaviour of the ‘madams’ (traffickers) and the attitude of our young women, make many of us ashamed in the diaspora, hence we are working relentlessly to support the young ones on the right path to success to show to the world that Edo people are not bad people.

“The love of money, more than the love and care for our fellow brothers and sisters and greed, degenerated to a point where brothers were selling brothers into slavery or ‘grassing on them’ by sending armed robbers and kidnappers on their brothers’ trail. It is to reverse these ugly trends that we in Edo Global Organisation support our Oba.

“Drastic issues call for drastic measures in the language our people understand. It shows how well the palace understands the current issues affecting our people.

“With the Edo State Government’s tough stance against illegal migration, the involvement of Omo N’Oba and the event in the palace a few days ago, we have seen the final nails on the coffin of illegal migration and prostitution, which are organised crimes against our young men and women.”



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