PRESS STATEMENT FROM WOMEN'S CONSORTIUM OF NIGERIA (WOCON) RELEASED IN OBSERVANCE OF 2017 WORLD DAY AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Raising Awareness on Human Trafficking in Nigeria
In honor of the UN’s World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, Women's Consortium of Nigeria (WOCON) joins Civil Society Organizations, Government Agencies, Communities and individuals to keep taking a stand against human trafficking.
Together, we continue to raise awareness on the harsh realities that trafficking victims face, educate the public on what human trafficking is and its relationship with the Law and today as always, we renew our commitment to fight this scourge until it becomes a thing of the past.
Due to the underground nature of human trafficking, it is difficult to accurately estimate the number of individuals trafficked. Nonetheless, it is too common in Nigeria that some of the children hawking on the streets or working as house-helps are actually victims of human trafficking. Trafficked victims are often the most vulnerable members of society, it is no surprise that they most often are women and children. Victims are often recruited from poor families in rural areas and promised work or education in urban areas; instead they find themselves working for little or no pay and facing psychological, physical and sexual abuse.
In addition to trafficking from rural to urban areas, trafficking also occurs across national borders. Nigerian women and children are trafficked to other countries in West and Central Africa, North Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and even the Americas. Internationally trafficked victims often face unique abuses such as the threat of deportation which work to control them and cause additional psychological distress. This picture is further complicated by uncoordinated or poorly enforced National Laws which most times, enable traffickers.
Our Organization, Women’s Consortium of Nigeria (WOCON) keeps up the fight to end this scourge through Advocacy, Awareness-raising, Workshops and Consultative Fora, Market and Street Rallies,Training of vulnerable individuals especially in rural areas, Education, and Research. We also address the root contributors to human trafficking - with poverty topping the list. This year’s World Day Against Human Trafficking marks another day to highlight the importance of the fight against human trafficking. We continue to stand for trafficked victims’ rescue and rehabilitation and by this we are calling on the government not to relent but rather continue to ensure that traffickers are brought to the Law.
WOCON also wants to acknowledge the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for the great work of identifying and prosecuting offenders, sheltering, protecting and rescuing victims, etc. NAPTIP has rescued so many trafficked individuals over the past years and this past Thursday (July 27, 2017), joined by other Stakeholders including Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigerian Police, WOCON and others, marched to raise awareness on the issue. We vow to continue to collaborate with them until human trafficking is eradicated in our society. WOCON also acknowledges the work of other anti-trafficking NGOs in Nigeria.
Our work makes it clear that only a collective effort is able to STOP human trafficking.
On this day and everyday, we STAND UP AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING and will continue to do so until it is eradicated.
WOMEN's CONSORTIUM OF NIGERIA (WOCON)
13 Okesuna Street,
UNODC’s Global Report on Trafficking in Persons