BusinessDay

NAPTIP partners IMO against human trafficking

...launches patrol bus in Edo

As part of efforts to reduce the rising rate of human trafficking and illegal migration in Edo state, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has partnered with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), to launch the ‘Big Blue Bus’ Project to tackle human trafficking and irregular migration.

Speaking at the launching of the Big Blue Bus Project in Benin on Thursday, both agencies said the project was part of their commitment to drive awareness and sensitize the people across 10 local governments on the ills and dangers associated with human trafficking and irregular migration in the state.

Chidiebere Oruruo-Ifudu, Benin NAPTIP zonal commander, listed some of the local government areas that will benefit from the sensitization campaigns to include Ovia North-East, Esan West, Esan North-East, Egor, Ikpoba Okha, Oredo among others.

She said the big blue bus will spend two months in the state before going to Delta state and other states across the country, adding that the project had already been launched in Lagos state and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

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While noting that enlightenment and sensitization were one of the cardinal pillars of the agency, she added that many Nigerian youths have lost their lives in the course of not traveling through the right path in the desert and Mediterranean sea.

She, however, advised parents to ensure that their children travel out of the country through the right route as well as acquire skills in addition to their academic certificates to be able to fit into the labour market of the country of their choice.

According to her, the big blue bus is a creation of our collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and supported by the Switzerland government.

“In the Big Blue Bus, there is going to be on-the-spot counselling services whereby victims of human trafficking will come and receive counselling services and get rehabilitated.

“We are advising our youths and parents on the dangers of human trafficking and irregular migration. It may be a journey of no return. If you must travel overseas, travel in the right way. Also, ensure that apart from academic certificates you acquire skills for you to be gainfully employed”, she said.

On his part, Frantz Celestin, chief mission of IOM, said the essence of the launch of the big blue bus project was to spread the messages of the ills and dangers associated with human trafficking and irregular migration in the country.

Celestin, represented by Aigbeze Uhimwen, IOM, senior project assistant, said Edo State is endemic in human trafficking and irregular migration, noting that the project was geared towards increasing awareness and sensitization.

The highlight of the project was the launch of the Big Blue Bus with the symbol “Shine You Eyes” by the Edo State NAPTIP Benin zonal command and Aigbeze Uhimwen, IOM, senior project assistant.

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