Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has pledged to stamp out the menace of human trafficking and illegal migration from Edo State, as the government has set up necessary legal and institutional framework to combat the scourge.
The governor also called for strengthening of transnational ties between state and non-state actors to end modern slavery and other ills, which benefit from human trafficking.
Obaseki made the commitment in commemoration of the International Day for the Remembrance of Slave Trade and its Abolition, which is marked on August 23, every year, by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), to remember the transatlantic slave trade and its abolition.
Obaseki said that though slavery might have been abolished centuries ago, it continued to rear its head in the guise of human trafficking and other forms of forced enslavement for social and economic gains.
He said: “On this day, it is important to recall the milestones recorded in the fight against human trafficking, a trend that almost deprived us of our youth population, which had foreshadowed a dim future for us. As we mark this, we are forced to signpost the modern version of this societal ill: human trafficking.
“To stem this, we set up the Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking; enacted the Edo State Trafficking in Persons Prohibition Law 2018 and set machinery in motion for top-of-the-range basic and technical education in the state.
“These are geared towards curbing the trend of human trafficking and ensuring that our young ones get the best of education in the state to make them competitive at home and abroad.”
He said that the state government’s rehabilitation and reintegration programme was geared towards restoring the dignity of those that might have been caught in the web of human trafficking, as efforts were in top gear to ensure that they settle back properly into society.
He called on the international community to continue to support the state government’s effort and urged for more support for governments working to curb all forms of slavery.
The International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition had its maiden celebration in Haiti on August 23, 1998.
After examining the understanding reached with the R-APC, the meeting observed the application of the Memorandum of Understanding would vary according to the value accruable from the local partners in the agreement.
In definite terms, according to the statement, fears of the dissolution of existing executive committees at any level were allayed.