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Foundation tasks media on fight against human trafficking, forced migration

By Michael Egbejule, Benin City
17 September 2021   |   3:32 am
Acting Executive Director of CLEEN Foundation, Mrs. Ruth Olofin, has restated the role of the media in mobilising public support and involvement to help prevent and combat trafficking owing to their reach...

Acting Executive Director of CLEEN Foundation, Mrs. Ruth Olofin, has restated the role of the media in mobilising public support and involvement to help prevent and combat trafficking owing to their reach and their ability to mold public opinion.

Olofin stated this at a media and civil society roundtable on human trafficking and forced migration organised by CLEEN Foundation in Benin City, Edo State.

She said the roundtable was aimed at strengthening collaboration and building coalition between mainstream media and civil society organisations (CSOs) in the fight against human trafficking and forced migration through mutually focused campaigns on trafficking and related issues to public awareness against the menace.

Olofin said trafficking of girls and women from Nigeria to Italy and other European countries was a serious phenomenon, noting that the volume of trafficking kept rising to levels that called for serious concern.

She added that traffickers and their agents in the communities who benefit from the profits of human trafficking constituted major challenge to addressing the problem in states with high rate of migration.

“The COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world has further worsened the economic and financial situation of Nigerians, especially the youths. Although the triggers of human trafficking are largely due to poor livelihoods, the practice is further sustained by other secondary, but equally important causes.

“These include cultural orientation, poor government policies that do not address the socio-economic conditions of youths and lucrative sex market in Europe,” she said.

She, therefore, noted that it was important that the success of curbing any societal problem depended largely on effective communication of the facts, circumstances and issues on this menace.

Olofin lamented that the communication of lies with the mainstream and social media in the country was playing an effective and dynamic role in promoting social change in human trafficking and forced migration.

“These serve as key drivers for spreading information (or misinformation) about human trafficking and forced migration, which goes some way in shaping government’s policy action and agenda in the fight against the menace,” she added.