Sensitisation of Nigerians, particularly mothers, has been identified as key to winning the war against human trafficking, child labour and domestic servitude.
Mrs Catherine Udida, Director, Migrant Affairs, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, made the observation on Wednesday in Abuja. at a symposium against human trafficking in the Gulf of Guinea
The symposium was organised by Network of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL), North Central Zone, with the theme: “Combatting Human Trafficking, Harnessing Resources among Stakeholders.”
Udida said that to win the war against human trafficking, child labour and domestic servitude, women especially mothers, must be sensitised to ensure that they never allowed their children to be trafficked.
She said that trafficking occurred through the desire to have a better life.
Udida said that Nigerians must guide against this, be content with wherever they found themselves and with whatever that came their way.
“Sensitisation is key. People should talk to their friends and neighbours, especially places where we are endemic, we should try as much as possible to sensitise mothers and other women folks.
“We must sensitise them to ensure that nothing should make them allow their children to be trafficked in their desire to have a better life.
“Our advice to Nigerians is that every human being is important. A child must be protected. A woman must be protected. A man must be protected and we, as a country, must protect ourselves,’’ she said.
Mr Benjamin Eneanya, the Project Manager, Expertise France, said that insecurity in the country, occasioned by banditry, kidnapping and terrorism, had caused displacement of many Nigerians, thereby fuelling human trafficking.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Expertise France is a french government development agency implementing the European Union fund project to support the fight against human trafficking in the states of Gulf of Guinea.
NAN reports that the project seeks to contribute to counter trafficking efforts in six countries in the Gulf of Guinea which are Nigeria, Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivorie and Guinea, through providing support to government and CSOs.
Eneanya said that the problem of human trafficking was enormous as many Nigerians were victims of this crime, either internally or to foreign countries where they under gone all forms of exploitations in most despicable conditions known to mankind.
According to him, the physical and psychological damage to victims is so immense that it requires thorough rehabilitation and empowerment process, as well as reintegration of such a person into the society.
Eneanya called on Nigerians to caution against this menace, as well as civil societies to double up their campaign, in order for the war to be won totally.
Mrs Imaobong Ladipo-Sanusi, NACTAL North Central Coordinator, said the symposium was important as it aimed to bring all stakeholders together to harness resources and discuss the way forward to combatting the crime.
She listed stakeholders like National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), NCFRMI, NACTAL and Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF).
“Part of the aim is to think of what to do and carry gatekeepers like traditional rulers, religious leaders, media who are all grassroot people, as well as Ministry, Department and Agency (MDA) along in the fight,’’ she said.