Nigeria must make strong statement against human trafficking-High Commissioner
By Idris Adesina
London, Dec. 9, 2017 (AltAfrika)-The Nigeria High Commissioner to United Kingdom, Ambassador George Adesola Oguntade says Nigeria Must take a bold and decisive action against any act and form of human trafficking and lead the way in the fight against the modern day slavery both internally and across Africa.
He therefore wants the leadership to develop an integrated action plan consisting ” adequate laws and enforcement” in tackling the menace that has brought local and international disgrace to the continent.
The High Commissioner who spoke through Mr Emmanuel Nama, the Commission’s Minister in-charge of Consular, Education and Welfare Matters during the maiden Annual Legal Awareness Day organised in London by the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (CANUK) said the problem had reach a level that it requires special attention by the government including filling the social and economic gaps that fuel trafficking.
“it’s a matter that has to be prioritised. It has a vicious scale, it has to be prioritised by government. Prioritise to the extent that institutions responsible for curbing this menace from our end are strengthened. Enforcement capacities are strengthened, skills capacity are built and engagement with international partners are enhanced”
He continued ” We also have to call on the international partners not to pay a lip service to this matter but to come up with practical means, more and more practical means. Firmer and stronger means of assisting concerned countries in dealing with it. We cannot do this alone, no country is going to do it alone and no country is immune from it.”
Ambassador Oguntade urged participants at the CANUK awareness day to come up with practical solutions that would assist Nigerians in the UK overcome some of their major challenges such as issues regarding child care, family separation, domestic servitude which according to him are largely influenced by lack of awareness of the laws of the country they found themselves.
“Coming from their different cultures, people are unable to adjust to the new culture they found themselves here, unable to adapt, unaware of laws and therefore easily in breach of laws. How do we get them aware, engage with the community, raise realistic awareness and create an open space for dialogue, to understand what laws exist, to understand their responsibilities under the law, to shed aspect of culture that are not acceptable and realistic here and how they can comply with the law. ”
Earlier, the Chairman of CANUK Dr. Boma Douglas said the legal awareness day was an intervention designed to assist Nigerian in the UK to be responsible residents and adjust adequately to the new culture.
Those who spoke at the event include Dame Julie Okah-Donli, the Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Oluwayemisi Jenkins (MBE), National Community Engagement Lead -Nigeria (Home Office), Keith Prince, GLA Assembly Member, eminent lawyers such as Juliet Benson, founder and MD, J Benson solicitors, David Thomas, Anital Rawal as well as Dr Folashade Olajubu, a mental health specialist and Euphemia Chukwu of Numatville