Disturbed by the prevalence of human trafficking cases in rural communities, the Uromi Justice Development Peace and Caritas Initiatives (UROMI-JDPCI) has advocated for the establishment of Anti-Human Trafficking Response Units at the local government level.

The executive Director of the UROMI-JDPCI, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Alfred Arhedo, made the call at the 2023 Community Sensitization Meeting/Public Awareness Campaign Rally, organized by UROMI-JDPCI to commemorate 2023 World Day Against Human Trafficking, which was held across the three senatorial districts of Edo State.

The theme of 2023 edition was “Reach Every Victim of Trafficking; Leave No One Behind”, while participants included community leaders, community youth leaders, returnees, community women leaders, security agents, local government social welfare department, among others.

Dr. Arhedo sought a legislative review of the Edo State Trafficking in Persons Prohibition Law to accommodate Anti Human Trafficking Response Unit at the local government level.

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He appealed to the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, to consider the activation of the Victims of Trafficking Trust Fund and its committee for sustained victims’ reintegration.

The UROMI-JDPCI executive director also called for equipping of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases, just as he called for more effective control of borders and immigration processes to prevent traffickers from exploiting vulnerable populations and moving across international borders.

He similarly called on government to tackle factors that engender vulnerability, such as poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, discrimination and the likes, and advised them to do regular monitoring and evaluation to know the effectiveness of their anti-trafficking efforts.

In commemoration of the 2023 World Day Against Human Trafficking, the Localizing Trafficking in Persons Response Cluster anchored by UROMI-JDPCI convened a community sensitization meeting and public awareness campaign rally to sensitize the populace about human trafficking and conscientize them on the need to report issues of human trafficking to appropriate authorities.