The Rivers State Response Team on Violence Against Women & Children has called on the Federal Government to immediately respond to the yearning of citizens by rolling out policies that will alleviate the plight of the people, address the issues of climate emergency and the socio-economic challenges making citizens vulnerable to human trafficking.
The Team while decrying the worrisome surge in cases of human trafficking in the State, especially as it affects children and teenage girls, said the prevailing state of economic distress, poverty, high cost of goods and services, and flooding now ravaging some communities resulting in forced migration of rural residents expose citizens to human trafficking syndicates.
Tombari Dumka-Kote, Coordinator, Rivers State Response Team on Violence Against Women & Children disclosed this while addressing newsmen on the sidelines of activities held in commemoration of the ‘World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2023’ in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Dumka-Kote who said the fight against human trafficking is the responsibility of all, commended Dr. Thomas Bariere, Executive Chairman, Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State for his effort in bringing back home, and re-uniting of two recently trafficked children rescued by the Akenfa Police Division, in Bayelsa State with their biological parents.
The Civil Rights Activist in describing the action of the Khana Council Boss as a step in the right direction, called on the council to go the extra-mile in providing education scholarship and social support for the rescued children and their family to forestall the situation that would have contributed to their vulnerability, and been trafficked from their home.
In her speech, Queeneth Igbara, Information and Public Enlightenment Officer at Centre for Justice, Empowerment & Development (C4J), warned that parents should always be mindful of those coming around their homes and children, as human traffickers seem to be on the loose with the rising state of unemployment and poverty in the country.
According to Igbara, the Centre have successfully rescued and re-united 18 children back to their biological parents in collaboration with relevant agencies since July 31st, 2022, maintaining that C4J will continue to work with all relevant Federal and State agencies in the country to curb the activities of human traffickers in the country.
The campaign for World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2023 aims to raise awareness of disturbing developments and trends identified by UNODC and calls on governments, law enforcement, public services, and civil society to assess and enhance their efforts to strengthen prevention, identify and support victims, and end impunity.
This years theme: “Reach Every Victim of Trafficking, Leave No One Behind” is the central, transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In the context of trafficking in persons, leaving people behind means; failing to end the exploitation of trafficking victims, failing to support victim-survivors once they are free from their traffickers, and leaving identifiable groups vulnerable to traffickers.