EDO STATE, NIGERIA- On May 5th and 6th, 2017, we were honored to serve as consultants to the Edo State Government of Nigeria, organizing a 2-day workshop on human trafficking alongside the brilliant minds of its Strategic Planning Unit. With over 90% of all Nigerian women trafficked into Europe hailing from Edo, it was encouraging to see our state Governor, His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki, and First Lady, Her Excellency, Betsy Obaseki, reinforcing their commitment to eradicating the issue from Edo State. The workshop brought over a hundred stakeholders to the table, including NAPTIP Nigeria, UNODC, Nigeria Police, Nigeria Customs and Immigration Services, dozens of CSOs (including IOM, ILO, TY Danjuma Foundation, FIDA, NAME, CONGOS, WOTCLEF, etc.), traditional rulers and community leaders, Federal and State Ministries, destination embassies, religious institutions, the British High Commission in Nigeria, Laura Boldrini of the Italian Parliament, Nigeria’s Special Advisor on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, world renowned women’s activist, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin (Chairwoman), and so many others to collectively strategize and make recommendations to the government.
In his remarks, Governor Obaseki expressed 100% commitment to (1) domesticating the federal anti-trafficking law in Edo State; (2) strengthening our local institutions to work with federal agencies; (3) partnering with international organizations; (4) rehabilitating survivors and to set up a fund to support them; (5) partnering with religious/community/traditional leaders; and (6) creating a database of repatriated survivors who will receive top priority for job placement. We are prepared to work with his administration to ensure that his goals and vision for Edo State are realized. The workshop was a complete success and we look forward to a new emerging Edo State! #Not4Sale #EndSexTrafficking