The National Human Rights Commission has called for an end to slavery which it says still thrives in modern forms in Nigeria despite the official abolition of the scourge many decades ago.
NHRC Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu, was quoted as saying this in the commission’s statement marking this year’s International Day of Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade which is observed on August 23 annually.
The statement signed by the commission’s Assistant Director Corporate Affairs and External Linkages Department, Fatimah Mohammed was titled, ‘International Day of Remembrance of Victims of Slave Trade: NHRC Seeks End to All Forms of Modern Slavery’.
It read in part, “As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to commemorate the 2020 International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, the National Human Rights Commission is calling for an end to all forms of modern day slavery to pave the way for full enjoyment of human rights in Nigeria by all the rural and urban poor, the rich, the downtrodden, the displaced and the homeless.
“The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Tony Ojukwu Esq who stated this on the eve of the 2020 IDRVS noted that despite the abolition of slave trade several decades ago, many countries including Nigeria are still grappling with other forms of modern day slavery such as human trafficking, sexual slavery, child/forced labour, prostitution, enlistment of minors in military service, servitude or removal of organ for pecuniary benefits, osu, ohu and other cast systems etc.”
Ojukwu stated that theme of this year’s remembrance, ‘Confronting Slavery’s Legacy of Racism Together’, ” is apt given the fact that racism plays a critical role in promoting slavery.”
He added that “the long-term effects of trans-Atlantic slave trade which also have some trappings of racism still reverberate across various societies globally.
He said all hands must be on deck to fight the menace saying it is high time humanity came to terms with the tenets of human rights which is targeted at enhancing human dignity, equality and respect for fundamental freedoms.”