Inspite of the war against human trafficking, high patronage in the illegal industry is said to be valued at over $150 million annually according to International Labour Organisation, (ILO).
This was disclosed at a forum organised by the Oyo State government with Live Abundantly Empowerment Initiative, a non-governmental organisation to work towards making Nigeria a trafficking-free nation.
Hosting market women, men, students, pupils, parents, government workers and others at the Civic Centre, Ibadan,Oyo State to mark the 2018 Human Trafficking Day, the Oyo State Government called on all stakeholders to support public efforts in making Nigeria a human trafficking free state.
In her address, First Lady of Oyo State, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi noted that human trafficking business, which is valued at $150 billion annually according to ILO and confirmed to be the third most profitable illicit business globally, was prevalent in the country despite concerted effort to curb it.
According to her, human trafficking, which was equivalent to modern day slavery was a massive worldwide problem with very few countries immune to it. She noted that thousands of men, women and children end up in the hands of traffickers every year, often through being tricked and misled to believe that they were being taken to work that will make their family better off, or through force, kidnap, or even through very poor families selling children in order to survive and in the process lose their rights and identity, used and abused.
It is in this light that we have decided to partner with Live Abundantly Empowerment Initiative, an organisation that is dedicated to transforming lives of women and children through advocacy, education and social awareness to improve awareness on the issue by diverting people attention to its causes and huge consequences.
As far as the state is concerned, we are leaving no stone unturned to eradicate this menace. We are highly dedicated to both tracking down the perpetrators of these crimes as well as sponsoring various advocacy programs at both the grassroots and the urban centres she said.
Founder of the NGO, Dr. Ama Onyerinma stressed that human trafficking remains a phenomenon that destroys the essence of humanity, adding that the law alone cannot cure the ills but through awareness, advocacy and education.
Likening human trafficking to a deep and painful cut, she stated that over 20.9 million people are living in such cut, which is a violation of human rights as it causes the victims to become vulnerable and also amounts to child labour.