Thursday, March 25, 2010

African Union Begins Anti-Trafficking Campaign in West Africa

AU begins anti-trafficking campaign in West Africa

Written by Akor Ojoma and Aisha Umar Agaie
Thursday, 25 March 2010 02:21

African Union commission launched campaign against trafficking in persons for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region.

Speaking during the launch of the campaign and opening of the workshop on operationalising the Ouagadougou action plan in Abuja, Commissioner of Social Affairs the Commission H.E. Adv. Bience Gawanas said the campaign aims to raise awareness towards tackling the problem of trafficking in human beings throughout the continent.

AU associated the cause of trafficking in the region to poverty, large family size, lack of educational opportunities, and lack of employment and low status of children.

She said many African states are yet to ratify the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, the international instrument adopted at UN level to fight human trafficking and or fully implement it with specific legislation in their respective domain.

She urged ECOWAS member states to galvanise commitments to the cause by joining the AU in implementing the Ouagadougou Action plan.

Earlier, President of the ECOWAS Commission Ambassador Victor Gbeho who was represented by the vice president John Deans said the forum is an opportunity to determine how best there may be cooperation between the various countries in the region towards the elimination of the scourge of trafficking in persons.

Executive secretary of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP), Barrister Simon Chuzi Egede, said the AU COMMIT is another initiative of the collaborative efforts made by UN, AU, and ECOWAS and NAPTIP geared towards fighting the scourge of trafficking in persons.

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