Experts, others task government on human trafficking
Two scholars from the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Edo State and other stakeholders have weighed in on the increasing cases of trafficking of persons, particularly, women and children, in the country, calling for concerted effort of all and government’s genuine commitment through effective legislation to discourage the illegal trade.
Delivering a lecture on “ Human Trafficking in Nigeria: Causes, Implications and Solutions,” at the 2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM)/ Dinner of the International League of Friends Club (ILOF), in Benin City, Prof. Kokunre Adetokunbo Eghafona of UNIBEN’s Sociology and Anthropology Department, described the scourge as a modern form of slavery and a gross violation of human rights.
She noted that the most trafficked victims were from poor homes and those most vulnerable and affected were women and children.
Eghafona identified Edo State as the most endemic source of human trafficking, stressing that Nigerian women and young girls from across the country are lured into sex slavery or forced labour by traffickers.
According to her, the solution to curbing trafficking in persons is for government to embark on agro- allied intervention, carry out aggressive campaigns against the menace as well as ensure good bilateral and multilateral cooperation to discourage it.
Eghafona noted that lack of social economic opportunities and political will by government to address the inhuman trade, porous borders and the demand for cheap labour have helped traffickers.
Eghafona also pointed to the crave for wealth, greed, large family sizes, demand for domestic servants as well as the desire to work in urban cities and abroad as key factors responsible for human trafficking.
Supporting her position, Professor of English, Tony Afejuku, urged government to scale up good and effective legislation to curb it, just as he identified the failure of past and present government to genuinely embark on aggressive campaigns in the fight against the crime as a major setback in the fight against trafficking.
In his welcome address, Mr. Chima Oji, an engineer who succeeded Sir Dr. Rowland Okol as ILOF’s president, said the group promotes and supports charitable objectives, aimed at improving the quality of life for members, Nigerian society and the world.
On the occasion, ILOF members and families undertook a tour of cultural sites in the ancient city and were and were entertained by cultural dancers.