Human Trafficking: CLEEN Foundation trains law enforcement officers on victims centre approach

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BENIN CITY – The need for further capacity building, training and retraining essentially on our legal frameworks on the the need for victims-centre-approach towards preventing Human Trafficking and Forced Migration in Edo State took central stage as the CLEEN Foundation, a leading NGO in Nigeria again conducted a 2-Day training workshop for Law Enforcement senior officers in the state.

In his welcome address, the Executive Directive of the foundation, Benson Olugbuo, said that the workshop was also aimed at inter-agency collaboration in the fight against trafficking and forced migration as well as providing assistance to victims of trafficking through the instrumentality of existing laws.

Olugbuo, who was represented at the event by the Program Manager, Ruth Olofin, noted that the role of law enforcement agencies is critical in addressing human trafficking, “hence, their roles cannot be downplayed if we are going to make significant stride in our effort to overcome this enigma.

“Following the success of the capacity program for these agencies, CLEEN Foundation in Collaboration with the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) and with support from the UNWomen and Government of Italy is organising a second leg of 2-Day training for Senior Officers across all Law Enforcement Agencies in Edo State because of their input in decision making which will help effectively in referral and coordination mechanism”.

“The workshop is important because the tricks used by traffickers and their enablers are constantly evolving, so we don’t need old skills to be responding to emerging tactics by traffickers.

“There is need to bring our Law Enforcement Agencies to speed on what they need to do when confronted with situation of human trafficking and forced migration and how their service delivery can also be gender responsive too to the need of the victims.

“So, when we say victims-centre, we are trying to encourage our Law Enforcement officials that they should not only focus on bringing traffickers to justice but also ensuring that the victims needs are taken care of, trauma level reduced and if need be, victims referred to the next institution that can help their case”, she informed.

Delivering her lecture tilted “Understanding the concepts of trafficking in persons”, Mrs. Adefunke Abiodun, disclosed that women and children are key targets of traffickers owing to their unequal socio-economic status and lack of awareness of their legal rights.

While disclosing that the Internal Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2008 estimated that 98% of women and girls are the most trafficked for sexual exploitation, Adefunke said that Nigeria has ratified many International instruments that support the elimination and punishment of trafficking.

On their parts, Dr. Eddy Akpomera and Iryn Omoroguiwa took on participants on “Gender mainstreaming of human trafficking, forced migration and gender sensitive instruments; and Legal framework/policy instruments on Human Trafficking and Forced Migration in Edo State”

Commending the organizer of the event, a participant, DSP Tijani Momoh, Public Relations Officer, Zone 5 Police Command, said the training was an eye opener noting that knowledge gained would further enhance their capacity in dealing with victims of forced migration and human trafficking

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