The Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq today inaugurated the State Task Force on Human Trafficking, noting that the prevalence of Human Trafficking and other forms of exploitation in the country is alarming.
He explained that at every point in time, several people suffer the misery of this humiliating and degrading crime. Children, women, young girls, migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons he said are particularly vulnerable to Human Trafficking and the physical, psychological, and economic violence that accompanies it.
Represented by his Deputy, Mr Kayode Alabi, Governor AbdulRazaq emphasized the importance of nipping the menace in the bud he noted that human trafficking is an issue of economic and social development.
‘However, this crime is not simply the symptom of a fragile or poor state or country, it occurs in every region. Due to the multifaceted nature of human trafficking, and its close connections with other transnational issues, no country is capable of combating this transnational threat on its own,’ he said.
He also added, ‘This global threat, therefore, requires a coordinated and meaningful response at all levels: local, regional and international. With very few victims being detected when it most matters, we must work closely with enforcement bodies to increase the arrest, trial and imprisonment for traffickers.’
The Governor therefore called on all stakeholders to design advocacy campaigns capable of educating people about human trafficking and its violence.
He also called for the active engagement of the youth in order to channel their passion and dedication into the movement to eradicate this crime.
He assured of the state Government’s commitment to a wholesome collaboration with the State Task Force in order to eliminate the menace of Human Trafficking in the country.
In her speech, the Director General of NAPTIP, Dr Fatimah Waziri Azi, represented by Director Research and Programme development Olubiyi Olusayo stated that NAPTIP is also an implementation agency for the violence against persons prohibition act of 2015 in the FCT which Kwara state has signed into law since 2020.
She said the state task force on human trafficking is saddled with the responsibility to ensure adequate sensitization at the grassroots and among vulnerable groups, provide services and support to victims who have been rescued as well as share information and provide access to Justice.
Representing the Chief of Mission, international Organization on Migration (IOM), Counter Trafficking Officer, Amira Tassadit disclosed that everyone is susceptible to human trafficking either directly or indirectly. While commending Kwara state for being one of the leading actors in the fight against trafficking, she called for all hands to be on deck.