Fight against human trafficking: UNHCR promises commitment

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has reiterated its commitment to collaborating with the federal government in the fight against human trafficking.

Mrs Unyimen Johnson, Associate Project Officer, UNHCR, stated this during an event to commemorate the 2021 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons held in Benin Friday.

Johnson noted UNHCR was saddled with the mandate of protection of victims of human trafficking, especially those in of international protection.

She stressed that human trafficking is evil, adding event was to enlighten potential victims of human trafficking the dangers of irregular migration.

She said that in view of this, the organisation would continue to collaborate with the federal government, non-governmental organisations, UN agencies, as well as the sector to continue to deliver the message.

She also noted that migration trends in the country included pronounced emigration of nationals for other countries in West Africa.

“According to reports from stakeholders and who have returned home, is an increasing number of migrants desperate to leave the country any means.

“Although the federal government has put in measures to counter trafficking in persons, Nigeria remains a country of origin, transit and destination for human trafficking.

“Driven the demand for cheap labour and commercial sex, trafficking rings across borders and within countries capitalise economic, social and political vulnerabilities to exploit their victims.

“To further support and complement the efforts the federal government, is for more collaboration among key government institutions.

“The civil organisation and the United Nations ought to sensitise the communities to human trafficking issues and where victims of trafficking can assistance and access to justice services,” he said.

Similarly Mr Aigbeze Unhiwme, who represented the International Office for Migration (IOM), Benin, restated IOM’s commitment to providing safe migration for Nigerians.

Unhiwme who said that significant progress had been made in the fight against human trafficking in the state, however called stakeholders and the to join hands and do more so success would have tremendous impact.

He added war against human trafficking was gaining momentum due to the presence of NAPTIP and the Edo Government Committee against human trafficking.

Mrs Chidiebere Ifudu, the Zonal Commander, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), in her remarks said that the event was to commemorate the annual global event.

Ifudu also said that the welfare of victims of human trafficking is paramount to the agency, adding that the agency is the focal agency saddled with fighting human trafficking.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a five-kilometre sensitisation road- walk across major roads in Benin was carried out as part of activities to mark the day.

NAN also reports that the theme for 2021 is “Victims Voice lead the Way”.(NAN)