Stakeholders in the anti-human trafficking and irregular migration crusade have identified reasons for the difficulties in the fight against the menace in Nigeria.
The stakeholders made the disclosure in a statement made available to the press in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The statement, signed by Evon Idahosa, executive director, Pathfinders Justice Initiative (PJI), said gaps were identified in the areas of thematic, rehabilitation, law enforcement, research, awareness creation, among others.
Idahosa said the stakeholders made the discovery at a two-day Gaps Analysis event organised in Benin City by PJI in collaboration with University of Venice (Italy), Equality Cooperative Socials, Nigeria Women Association, and Assoc 5050.
She listed some of the stakeholders that participated at the event to include representatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Benin zonal office, Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking, Nigeria Immigration Service, International Organisation for Migration, Edo State Judiciary, European Union delegation to Nigeria, and UKAID.
Others are experts from France, delegation of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs, Red Cross, Salvation Army, University of Benin, Oba Ewuare ll Foundation, as well as Independent Researchers, Academics, the media, among others.
The event with the theme, “InsigHT- Capacity Building to Deal with Human Trafficking and Transit Routes in Nigeria, Italy and Sweden, afforded stakeholders the opportunity to identify gaps in current anti-human trafficking/irregular migration effort within Nigeria.
The stakeholders are collaboratively working to ensure that ongoing projects complement each other, rather than duplicate efforts as well as to ensure optimal collaboration, particularly on a transnational level, she said.
According to Idahosa, these areas reflected gaps stakeholders and policy makers are to create clear action plans to change the current narratives.
“This will ensure that stakeholders, donors, implementers work collaboratively; share key information to avoid duplication of efforts; craft programmes/interventions from a more holistic approach and design interventions geared towards safe/legal pathways for regular migration as well as generate legal economic alternatives for would be migrants within Nigeria,” she said.
Meanwhile, the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Edo State chapter, has promised to offer free legal services to victims of sexual assault and violence against any girl child in Nigeria.
Iryn Omorogiuwa, chairperson, FIDA, made the promise Wednesday at a press conference to mark the 2019 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drugs with the theme, “Health for Justice. Justice for Health,” in Benin City.
Omorogiuwa, who condemned substance abuse in the society, said the body would continue to fight against drug abuse.
While encouraging students to speak up and stay away from substance abuse, she noted that laws had been enacted to address sexual violence, and assured that they would never relent in the fight against it.
She noted that as part of efforts to fight against the menace of sexual violence and drug abuse, they have embarked on awareness programme to selected schools to educate pupils and students.
According to Omorogiuwa, as regards the issue of sexual violence, the students are encouraged to “Speak Up” whenever there is any issue of sexual violence. There are laws that have been enacted to address sexual violence in the society and there is absolutely no reason for any child to suffer in silence.
“To effectively handle the drug problems prevalent in the society, the health institution must work in tandem with accountable institutions of justice to provide solutions that tally with international drug control conventions, human rights obligations and sustainable development goals.
“The message being communicated to the children is that substance abuse are injurious to the health of the individual and such abuse of drugs can also lead to a situation where the individual gets into problems with the law.
“The children in these schools are encouraged to be vigilant and ensure that they are not led into abuse of drugs. They are advised to stay away from any form of substance use,” she said.
BusinessDay reports that every June 26, is set aside by the United Nations as International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, marking the impact that illicit drugs have on health, development, peace and security.