The Irish Government on Wednesday urged the federal and states governments to create jobs for the youth as an effective measure to address the menace of human trafficking in Nigeria.
Irish High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Sean Hoy, made the call during a courtesy visit to the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, at his palace in Benin, Edo State.
Hoy said that such jobs must be satisfactory in order to prevent Nigerians from leaving the country.
He, however, stated that he was working with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons to assess the problem.
“Last week, I met with NAPTIP in Abuja and we are trying now to learn more about the situation. The real way to address human trafficking is to create good jobs in Nigeria so people do not leave” he said.
The high commissioner explained that he was in the state on a fact-finding mission aimed at meeting with the people and the government in order understand their challenges.
His words, “I believe it is very important for me, as ambassador, to travel around all parts of Nigeria not only to meet with people in government but also people in villages, people in business and this is my first trip to Edo State.
“I have been to many parts of this country and I am learning a lot on this visit. But I am learning about what people are worried about, what they feel is getting better and then I can bring the message back to Abuja.”
In his remark, Oba Ewuare II stated that the campaign against human trafficking was a work in progress.
The monarch also commended the Irish government for demonstrating its interest in the development of Edo State.
The DG of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli earlier met with Ambassador Sean Hoy, who paid her a courtesy visit at the Headquarters of the Agency in Abuja.
During their discussion, the NAPTIP boss urged the Republic of Ireland to join other partners that are collaborating with the Agency in the areas of awareness creation, intelligence sharing and other counter trafficking projects initiated by the Agency.
She seized the opportunity to call on members of the European Union and the entire international communities to put in place measures that will reduce the incidence of human trafficking across the globe saying that the interest of victims of human trafficking should be the major concern of all.
The NAPTIP boss who frowned on some policies and legislation’s adopted by some of the International communities that directly or indirectly fuel illicit trade of human trafficking specifically tasked the visiting envoys on the need to look inward and take decisive step to minimize human trafficking in their country.
She said, “It is essential that those policies and legislation’s that seem to be encouraging human trafficking are seriously tackled. Specifically, those policies that allows the unhindered operations of massaging parlors, brothel and others should be reviewed and outlawed in order to discourage the demand and reduce the supply.
“The Republic of Ireland may be just a transit country for now, but it is certain that if nothing is done to discourage human trafficking and irregular migration within the European countries, the spillover effects may change the profile of the country to both source and destination country as far as human trafficking is concerned.
“So I am calling on all members of the European Union to join hands with NAPTIP to stop human trafficking around the globe. We can stop it through deliberate policy and legislation’s”, she said.
Dame Okah-Donli disclosed that NAPTIP has convicted 342 persons since its inception in addition to several other cases pending at various courts of law.
Responding, Ambassador Hoy commended the Director – General for the giant stride recorded in the fight against human trafficking in her one year in office.
He disclosed that his country was ready to partner with NAPTIP in its activities adding that the Republic of Ireland has zero tolerance for human trafficking and other negative vices.
He pointed out that already Irish Navy are among Law Enforcement Agencies working seriously on the Mediterranean Sea on management of irregular migration and the attendant casualties.