The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has urged stakeholders to step up global efforts to end the scourge of human trafficking and all other forms of modern slavery.
Obaseki made the call in commemoration of the International Day for the Remembrance of Slave Trade and its Abolition, which is marked on August 23, every year, by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), to remember the transatlantic slave trade and its abolition.
Obaseki, who noted that the state has made considerable progress in the campaign against human trafficking, added that the government was implementing reforms and legislation to sustain the gains recorded in combatting the scourge, especially in the rehabilitation and resettlement of returning illegal migrants.
Describing this year’s theme, 'Stories of Courage: Resistance to Slavery and Unity against Racism,' as apt, the governor however reiterated the need to strengthen transnational ties to end modern slavery and other ills, which benefit from human trafficking.
He further called on the international community and other stakeholders to continue to support the state government's effort to end human trafficking and all other forms of slavery.
According to him, "On this day, it is important to reiterate the need to strengthen global efforts and partnerships to end the scourge of human trafficking and all other forms of modern slavery.
“For us in Edo, we have recorded milestones in the fight against human trafficking and all other forms of human exploitation on the back of our robust partnership with the private sector and international development organisations.
“With their support, we have been able to substantially contain the scourge of human trafficking and irregular migration, which once pillaged our youths, who are our most valuable resources. These partnerships must be sustained if we are serious in realizing the global vision of totally eradicating human trafficking and modern day slavery, as well as all other forms of human exploitations.”
Obaseki noted that “Apart from the various proogrammes implemented by the state’s skills development agency, Edojobs to create more jobs and equip youths in the state with in-demand skills to be globally competitive, we have set up the Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking; enacted the Edo State Trafficking in Persons Prohibition Law and set machinery in motion for top-of-the-range basic and technical education in the state, as part of revved up efforts to curb the trend of human trafficking.”