Chief of Staff to Edo State Government House, host Special UN rapporteur in Government House

Jun 02, 2019
Chief of Staff to Edo State Government House, host Special UN rapporteur in Government House

The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Trafficking, Ms Maria Grazia Giammarinaro and her team visited Edo State Government on September 8, 2018. They were received by the Governors Chief of State accompanied by the Attorney General/Chairperson of the Taskforce, other government officials and members of the Taskforce. The Chief of Staff informed the visitors that the governor was on official assignment and on his way back from Canada.

Ms Giammarinaro started by saying that the issue of vulnerability in conflict countries has led to Trafficking, and that women's protection can help in the prevention of human trafficking in conflict countries. She also spoke about other forms of human trafficking, which includes domestic servitude, begging, and children exploitation. She added that those who are vulnerable in camps should be protected from abuse, and protection of these vulnerable persons is very important. Furthermore she said that many actions have been put in place to tackle human trafficking but it cannot be said that significant results can be achieved immediately.

The Governors Chief of Staff, Mr Taiwo Akerele thanked Ms Giammarinaro and her delegation and stated that Edo State Government has social inclusion for women in governance and a partnership with traditional institutions to ensure that cultural practices and norms which are repugnant to women are eliminated.

The Chairperson of the Taskforce gave an overview of the activities of the Taskforce since inception and talked about its four pillars. She spoke about the welcome program for returnees, all it entails and emphasized that most of the returnees had skills before they traveled and what they need are startup packs. She also mentioned our anti-trafficking law and the fiat from the Federal Attorney General, which gives the state the power to prosecute human trafficking cases. She added that advocacy/sensitization is a strong tool used in fighting the menace of human trafficking and that advocacy pragrammes have been done in very endemic areas where there are high levels of poverty, illiteracy, and underdevelopment. She went further to inform our guest of other activities of the Taskforce, including stipend payments to returnees, the data collection exercise, the roundtable on migration held in Abuja, and the recently concluded root Cause Workshop.

The Chairperson also pointed out that the Oba of Benin Kingdom’s pronouncement has gone a long way in fighting human trafficking, by setting free some of the girls who made oaths. Finally, that other tools we can use to fight this ugly trend include; improving education for women; international cooperation when it comes to arrest of suspected traffickers; capacity building and strengthening institutions in Edo State.