By Isaac Ukpoju
An NGO and human rights organisation, ActionAid Nigeria (AAN), says it has empowered 25,844 women and young people as part of the efforts to tackle human trafficking in the last three years.
Mrs Ene Obi, the Country Director of AAN, made this known on Tuesday in Abuja to mark the 2019 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
Obi identified poverty, illiteracy, lack of economic opportunities and insecurity as some of the root causes of human trafficking and forced migration.
She said that AAN had intervened through training and mentoring, provision of start-up grants and equipment to women and youths for launch of production activities.
“At ActionAid Nigeria, we believe that building the agency of citizens and contributing to improving their socioeconomic conditions will reduce their vulnerability to human trafficking and other forms of modern-day slavery, ” Obi said.
The country director called for a multi-sectoral approach and collaboration in tackling the menace of human trafficking, especially women and girls in the country.
“As a nation, our efforts to tackle human trafficking must focus on addressing the root causes of poverty in our society.
“We are working to ensure that every Nigerian, especially women and girls have an opportunity to live a life of dignity and make social progress.
“Citizens and governments at all level must wake up to challenge this monster.
“The human trafficking industry is a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide, and it will take collective, consistent and decisive efforts to overcome the challenge of human trafficking.
“Some of those involved in trafficking of persons, especially women and girls for prostitution and cheap labour are well placed and connected in the society, but there must be no sacred cows in this fight.
“Human trafficking is a crime, and the law enforcement agencies must wake up and bring justice for the oppressed,” Obi said.
She, therefore, called on governments and other non-governmental organisations to scale up interventions that would empower women and young people against vulnerability to trafficking. (NAN)