Posted by From Juliana Taiwo in Abuja on
International Labour Organisation (ILO) yesterday said over $32 billion was being generated as profit annually from labour exploitation of trafficked women, children and men.....
International Labour Organisation (ILO) yesterday said over $32 billion was being generated as profit annually from labour exploitation of trafficked women, children and men. It has also fingered lack of harmonised legislative and investigative strategies within the West Africa sub-region as the biggest problem to combating menace.
This was contained in the global report presented at the advocacy workshop on forced labour, human trafficking for law enforcement agents in English speaking West African region.
ILO Director of offices in Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Mrs. Sinanzeni Chuma Mkandawire, in her presentation, said “trafficking in human is a global phenomenon that has been called the slavery of the 21st century."
“While the phenomenon is partially known, the proportion it has assumed in recent years is not yet duly acknowledged. Up to four million people are reportedly trafficked annually, the majority of whom are women and children. Although, increasing numbers of men and boys are targeted by traffickers for forced labour exploitation and other practices,” she said.
To further underscore the seriousness of the problem, she said “the latest ILO report on forced labour indicates that 2.5 million persons are estimated to be trafficked at any point in time, of which minimum of one third are trafficked for economic purposes.”
Conversely, Mkandawire said the ILO's special action Programme Against Trafficking in West Africa (PATWA) was set up to address the structural aspects of the demand and supply of forced labour and human trafficking in the region. She noted that the project took off in Nigeria and Ghana in June 2004 and is part of the special action programme to combat forced labour through the implementation of ILO labour convention, no 29 (1930) on elimination of all forms of forced labour.
In his remark at the opening ceremony, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Hassan Lawal, said “the responses to trafficking in persons vary considerably from country to country and the lack of harmonised legislative and investigative strategies within the sub region continues to pose big problems to our effort at combating human trafficking.
“Human trafficking and forced labour is violation of human rights. Violation of human right is both a cause and consequence of trafficking in persons,” he said.
The Minister, however, said “it is therefore essential to place the protection of all human rights at the center of any measures taken to prevent and end trafficking.
“There are various forms and stages of abuses in the human trafficking process. It is the duty of enforcement agencies to identify the particulars stages with a view to applying the required rules and regulations.”
Lawal, who commended the ILO-PATWA for organising the workshop, however called for adoption of community level through NGOs in the fight against the menace, noting that his ministry will give all the necessary support reducing human trafficking in Nigeria.
He charged participants at the workshop to evolve a multi-agency approach that would uphold the fundamental human rights of victims in the sub region.
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