PRESS STATEMENT RELEASED BY WOCON TO COMMEMORATE THE WORLD DAY AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
PRESS STATEMENT RELEASED BY WOMEN CONSORTIUM OF NIGERIA (WOCON)
THE WORLD DAY AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
30TH JULY, 2016
30th July is annually recognized worldwide as the International Day Against Human Trafficking. This day is set aside to further educate the populace on the perils of human trafficking and call out to Government parastatals, International agencies, and Law enforcement agencies, CSOs, CBOs, and FBOs to pull all resources together in a bid to eradicate, or at least bring to the barest minimum the issue of human trafficking and make the society safe. It is a known fact that trafficking in persons is a major concern in the world today which has attracted serious attention both at international and national levels with consequences of heavy causalities. Human trafficking is the third most profitable business in the whole world; it comes immediately after drug and arms trafficking but of the three, human trafficking is the easiest. Unfortunately, Nigeria is a source, transit and destination country hence the need for the Nigeria community to arise for massive interventions.
Our organization Women Consortium of Nigeria (WOCON)’s focus on human trafficking dates back to 1997 when we participated in the first research study on the trafficking of women in Nigeria as part of an African regional study on trafficking commissioned by the U.N Rapporteur on Violence Against Women and was also part of lobby group that lobbied for the human rights standard approach during the negotiations for the adoption of the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish trafficking in persons especially women and children in Vienna 2000.
WOCON is a not for profit, non-religious, non-partisan and non-governmental organization for the promotion and enforcement of women and children’s right and the attainment of equality, development and peace. WOCON also holds a United Nations Special Consultative Status. The issue of human trafficking has been the paramount focus of WOCON and it is in this light that we are drawing public attention to the consciousness to the plight of trafficked persons and the need for us all to lend our voices in combating human trafficking and its consequences.
Trafficking in persons is defined as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipts of persons by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payment or benefits to achieve the consent of a person. (https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/what-is-human-trafficki...)
The increasing trend of human trafficking has been of major concern to the Nigerian government, international agencies, CSOs devoting huge resources in addressing this issue. There have been enormous campaigns on how citizens should be at alert and be weary of sweet promises of job offers outside the country as this is among the many gimmicks traffickers use to lure victims. Trafficked Nigerian women and children are recruited from rural areas − women and girls for involuntary domestic servitude and sexual exploitation, and boys for forced labor in street vending, domestic servitude, mining, and begging etc. The earnings from the victims work work are collected by these pimps and agents while a meager share is given to the victims for their upkeep. The recent trend has been the recruiting of unsuspecting victims for organ transplant transactions. This illicit trade poses a big challenge to the manpower development of Africa nations since the person trafficked usually belong(s) to the working ages and used mostly to develop Europe, America and other advanced countries of the world.
On this note, there is need to raise awareness on the direct evils of human trafficking against developing nations and indirectly the developed countries whose global images are being dented. The Nigerian government has empowered these agencies, the Nigerian Police force, Nigerian Immigration service and National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP) with statutory powers to arrest and prosecute human traffickers.
Civil Societies working on Trafficking in Persons assist with the rescue, reintegration and counseling of trafficked victims to prevent reoccurrence. Huge resources are also devoted to grassroots sensitization due to the fact that persons in rural areas are more at risk of falling victims of human trafficking.
Our organization continues to engage in activities that align with her commitment to end human trafficking in Nigeria. We regularly collaborate with the Nigerian Police Force, NAPTIP and other CSOs in the rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of trafficked victims. Just recently, the organization in collaboration with West African Network (WAN) rescued and transferred over 12 young women who were trafficked to Mali.
We appreciate the effort of the Nigerian Government and other Bodies such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM), NAPTIP etc who have been part of the anti-human trafficking campaigns and urge us all not to relent but rather intensify all efforts to ensure that the human race is free of all human trafficking activities
Let us all continue to lend our voices to this campaign because human trafficking is a violation of human right hence it must be stopped!!!
Thank you all for your attention
Women Consortium of Nigeria
08033347896, 08033188767, 08037190133