A great step forward in the fight against human trafficking in the Nigerian region of Edo State
This action brings together governmental forces, through the task force of which Iroko is a member, and the most important traditional and spiritual leader of Edo State and has triggered a positive mechanism for change in the region, where a large majority of those trafficked from Nigeria to Europe come from. We are dedicating every available resource towards continuing this process, which represents a concrete opportunity for change for many Nigerians.
On 9th March Oba Ewuare II, during a well-attended ceremony held in the royal palace in Benin City, revoked the oaths imposed on victims of trafficking by native doctors in Edo State, putting a curse on anyone who creates or collaborates with underground criminal gangs who force people to take an oath. It is these criminal activities, which are not part of Edo culture and society that the Oba has distanced himself from.
The law against trafficking was recently passed by the Edo State House of Assembly. The Edo State Task Force has been carrying out Town Hall Meetings to raise awareness about the risks of trafficking.
After this first and important step, the Edo State Task Force Against Human Trafficking is supporting campaigns to penetrate the several Local Government Areas of Edo State. Officials of the taskforce distribute information materials and speak to the people to make them aware of the dangers of exposing their children, teenagers and girls to the hazards of illegal migration to Europe by land.
The Town hall meetings will continue as part of the Edo State Government commitment to end trafficking through awareness raising programmes, development of the state in order to provide employment opportunities for young people and through support for returnees from Libya and from Europe.
These pictures are from the town hall meeting at Oredo LGA (Edo State).
Oba Ewuare II, the King of Benin (current Edo State, Nigeria) has ordered native doctors of Edo State to revoke all of the curses and oaths placed on victims of trafficking, himself invoking a curse on all those native doctors who continue to force or coerce victims into taking oaths.
This important event took place on 9th March during a ceremony, held in the Royal Palace of Benin City, to which many priests and native doctors were invited, as well as representatives from NAPTIP, the government agency which works to tackle human trafficking and members of the government task force that is fighting against trafficking. Iroko is an active member of this task force (here are some pictures from the ceremony taken by representatives of the task force).
Last July we announced the creation of a Task Force to fight trafficking in Edo State, during the 4th Edo Women’s Conference, as reported here.
The work is in progress and the Edo State Task Force is putting in place development programmes, appropriate training and employment insertion or creation for returnees from Libya – 500 Libya returnees so far – and from European countries, as a means of eradicating trafficking from the state.