Coordinator for Migration and Refugee Issues at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Nicola Clase, has said European countries, which are destinations for victims of human trafficking and illegal migration, need to do more to discourage the practice by implementing laws to prohibit sex trade.
Clase, who works with the Department of Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs in the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, made the submission during a courtesy visit by the Swedish delegation, to Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, at Government House, in Benin City.
She said in 1999 the Swedish Government came up with a legislation prohibiting purchase of sexual gratification, and noted that the law has helped the country combat illegal migration and human trafficking.
According to her, “We take trafficking in persons very seriously. We are celebrating 20 years of the legislation passed to prohibit the purchase of sexual favours. There should not be a market in Europe for trafficking and we want more countries to follow suit and have this kind of legislation.”
Clase commended the Edo State Government’s approach to combating human trafficking, adding that the visit by the Swedish delegation will enable both governments share information and strengthen cooperation in combating the ills of illegal migration.
Responding, the Edo State Acting Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, said the Obaseki-led administration enacted a law as part of efforts to combat human trafficking, leading to the establishment of the Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking (ETAHT) to enable the state government deal with cartels involved in the illicit trade.
Shaibu said the state government is doing more to create empowerment and employment opportunities for the youth to discourage them from embarking on irregular migration.
He said the Governor Obaseki-led administration was ready to strengthen collaborations with Sweden and the European Union on economic advancement, noting, “We are creating a vibrant economy so that our youths can learn technical skills and become productive. This will ensure that irregular migration will be addressed and young people will be encouraged to undertake legal migration as well as exchange programmes.”