Benin, Nov. 22, 2017 (TNE) Edo State, hard hit by the human trafficking syndrome, is appealing for assistance to reduce the menace and consequences of the vice on the people and the state.
Gov. Godwin Obaseki who is already in Rome, one of the recipient countries, says the state government needs international support to sustain its efforts to curb human trafficking to Europe and cater for returnees.
The governor made the plea at the International Conference on Women Empowerment and the Fight against Trafficking in Persons in Rome, organised by the President of Italian Chamber of Deputies, Ms Laura Boldrini.
Mr Crusoe Osagie, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, made the information available in a statement in Benin on Wednesday.
The state government recently received three groups of more than 200 returnees from Libya. They were subsequently enrolled in capacity development programmes and placed on a stipend for three months.
The state government has also set up a task-force to oversee the process of rehabilitating and assimilating returnees. Government has also sent a bill to Edo State House of Assembly for the enactment of a law to strengthen the fight against human trafficking.
Obaseki said the state had built formidable structures and systems to receive and re-integrate victims of human trafficking and illegal migration who are indigenes of the state.
He, however, said the state requires huge funds to sustain the rehabilitation of the returnees.
”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,” he said.
The governor assured indigenes, who were victims of human trafficking and willing to return home, of governmentvsupport and rehabilitation.
“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,’’ the governor said.