Modern Slavery: Gov. Obaseki harps on deepening global efforts to curb human trafficking

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The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that the fight against human trafficking, which is a manifestation of modern-day slavery, gains considerable mileage when all stakeholders affected by the menace work together to provide pragmatic, inclusive and sustainable solutions that place a premium on socio-economic impact in affected developing countries.

The governor, who said this in commemoration of the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, marked on December 2, every year, by the United Nations, noted that the new coalition to end the human trafficking, adds a new dimension to the campaign.

He said that the state government has made considerable progress in the campaign against human trafficking, which has led to the setting up of the Managing Migration for Development Programme (MMDP), in collaboration with the World Bank and the European Union.

On the international coalition, he said, “We would hold the second roundtable dialogue on tackling migration in Edo State from December 4 to 5. This is a new chapter for us with the involvement of the multilateral development agencies on this campaign. We had reached out to them for support and we appreciate the fact that they have engaged constructively with us, providing the necessary support.

“So, we will be reviewing the much we have done and now entering another phase, that will ensure that government’s presence is felt in affected communities, just as the economic space will be opened for them to lead rewarding, fulfilling lives.”

Noting that the state government has recorded considerable progress in the effort to break the bond between trafficked girls and their ‘sponsors,’ he said, “With the backing of the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, we have been able to assure the girls that whatever bond they may have entered into with their madams have no effect. This has contributed greatly to the campaign.

“This is noteworthy because the practice of human trafficking is rooted in bondage, often perpetuated when the girls take oaths of allegiance and what may be termed servitude to their sponsors. We are recording progress today because we have severed the efficacy of this practice. So, it is a plus to efforts aimed at ending modern-day slavery in Edo State.”

Meanwhile, on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities marked every December 3 by the UN, the governor said that the state government is creating the space for those living with disabilities to find expression in the state, as the committee set up to articulate its needs have submitted its report, which will drive policy changes.

According to him, “We run a government of inclusion. This is why a committee was set up to map out how best to engage with Persons with Disabilities and prepare a blueprint. Our aim is to create a space where everyone will have a say in society. So, those living with disability have a stake in what we do. We will work to ensure that their rights are protected and that they live fulfilled lives.”

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