…salutes Benin Monarch’s stance on human trafficking, assures Edo’s new law will check menace
The Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has urged world leaders to strengthen existing laws and policies against all forms of slavery, to uphold the dignity of the human being.
Obaseki made the call in commemoration of the United Nations International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, marked on March 25 each year.
He decried the reappearance of slavery in Libya and other parts of the world, several decades after it was abolished, and hailed the efforts of the Benin Monarch, His Royal Majesty, Omo N’ Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, at bringing an end to human trafficking in the state.
“Since the intervention by Oba Ewuare II, we have received positive feedbacks from the camps of the human traffickers in Europe and other parts of the world. They have been rattled and many of them have given up the inhuman trade for decent lifestyles, knowing the weight of the royal pronouncements.”
The governor assured that “with the extensive and speedy work that have been done by the Edo State House of Assembly on the ‘Bill to Prohibit Trafficking in Persons and Establish the Edo State Taskforce Against Trafficking in Persons’, the stage is set for an all out war against human traffickers and their collaborators.”
He said the Bill, when signed into law, will strengthen existing Federal Government laws and agencies in tackling human trafficking.
Obaseki noted that the United Nations International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, should remind everyone of the millions of lives that were lost; namely women, children and young men.
“We must never go that route again. In Edo State, we have lost thousands of our young men and women to illegal migration and human trafficking and this is unacceptable.
“My administration is committed to a new order that will engage our productive youths in dignifying and rewarding economic ventures that earn them decent wages,” he added.
According to the United Nations, “for over 400 years, more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims of the tragic transatlantic slave trade, one of the darkest chapters in human history.
“Every year on March 25, the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade offers the opportunity to honour and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system. The International Day also aims to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today.”
In order to more permanently honour the victims, a memorial has been erected at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
An exhibition titled “Remember Slavery: Say It Loud” has been on display since March 5, in the Visitors Lobby at United Nations Headquarters New York.
The exhibit is organised as part of the commemoration of the 2018 International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, under the theme “Remember Slavery: Triumphs and Struggles for Freedom and Equality”.
“The theme celebrates the gains of people of African descent from slavery to present. It also acknowledges the challenges that have been overcome in the movement towards freedom and equality in all professions” the UN said.