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.
The first step of the programme development proposal, to be presented to donors, is a two day workshop from 8-9 February held in Benin with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN’s Global Development Network advocating for change through development and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life.
Secretary, Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking, (ETAHT), Abieyuwa Oyemwense, said «the state government will continue to fulfil its promise to equip returnees with skills to fast-track their reintegration into the society».
Oyemwense also explained that «the state government will provide start-up capital for the returnees to begin their own small businesses and become employers of labour. The training workshop is a unique opportunity for the returnees to acquire skills and transform their lives».
Our organisation, as a member of the Edo State Task Force to combat trafficking, is actively participating in this innovative process. Our Executive Director Esohe Aghatise is an active and important member and component of this very important process to eradicate trafficking from Edo State.
On January 29th she participated, together with the members of the task force in Benin City, in the opening meeting of the technical training course for returnees from Libya organised by the Edo Task Force, in collaboration with the Women’s Helping Hands Initiative (WHHI).
«What is happening here – said Esohe Aghatise – is an innovative, first time ever active action to change those situations that make people vulnerable to trafficking. Our aim is to ensure that those trafficked can return in a dignified manner, with training, jobs, housing, free basic education and free healthcare, to ensure they can be reintegrated into the society in an efficient and longlasting manner. In that way, they will have no reason to fall prey to traffickers.
It will also ensure that those at risk of being trafficked can be given appropriate training and jobs».