By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—GOVERNOR Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has said the state has built formidable structures for the rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of human trafficking and illegal migration who are indigenes of the state.
Obaseki disclosed this at the International Conference on Women Empowerment and the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons: Partnership Between Nigeria and Italy, organised by the President of Italian Chamber of Deputies, Ms Laura Boldrini, in Rome, Italy. He said, however, that the state will need the support of the international community to sustain its efforts in ensuring that the youths do not embark on dangerous journeys to Europe.
No fewer than 350 Libyan returnees were received in the last three weeks by the state government and are currently being catered for by the government.
According to the governor: “We are spending a lot to reintegrate these young people into the society and we anticipate that the expenses would be more in the nearest future. We solicit for support from the European Union, the Italian government, as well as other countries affected by this menace to be able to sustain the structures we have set up in the state.
“All parties affected by the menace of human trafficking, both the countries of origin and the destination countries, stand to benefit from the system we have set up in Edo State to engage these youths, which would give them no reason to contemplate migrating illegally.”
So, we want to strengthen these structures in Edo State to make staying back and working gainfully the preferred choice,” he said.
Obaseki added that “We acknowledge the fact that they are victims, and in many instances, they are entangled in human trafficking due to no fault of theirs. We are extending an open hand to them, and assuring them of support when they return.”