Iroko Association will take part in a meeting organised by the Human Rights subcommittee of the European Parliament on the 11th and 12th July 2018 in Brussels. Iroko’s director, Esohe Aghatise, will speak about the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, which will be celebrated on 30th July.
Aghatise will exchange views with Myria Vassiliadou, the EU anti-trafficking coordinator, followed by a conversation between the governor of Edo State, Nigeria, Godwin Obaseki, and Yinka Omorogbe, the president of the Task Force, created by the Edo State government to combat trafficking, of which Esohe Aghatise is also an active member.
The full programme of the event is available here.
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).
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.