Thursday, 16 February 2017 11:01

Report of Anti-Human Trafficking Conference Featured

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Caritas Internationalis under the auspices of its program Christian Organization Against Trafficking Network (COATNET) and the Pontifical Council for Migrants

and Itinerant Persons organized a conference on Human Trafficking titled “One Human Family, One Voice, No Human Trafficking” in Abuja from the 5th-7th of September 2016.

This conference was hosted by Caritas Nigeria at DRACC Lugbe, Abuja. The aim of the conference was to first connect different actors and most especially unite Faith-based actors, share practices of combatting trafficking and slavery, participation and cooperation. It was also a platform to share challenges, identify common grounds for prevention strategy and a deeper knowledge of key themes on human trafficking bearing in mind the Sustainable Development Goals. The key themes for deliberation were trafficking of Children, trafficking for Labour and Sexual Exploitation, trafficking for crisis situations and trafficking in Maritime industry.

There were over 200 participants from over 43 Countries and 6 Continents in attendance. Participants were amongst CARITAS and COATNET (Christian Organization against Trafficking) member organization, members of African Bishop’s Conferences, Religious Congregations, International Organizations, inter-faith groups, academia’s, Media, Corporate Organization, Survivors of human trafficking and Nigeria Government Officials.

The climax of the meeting was plenary sections held by Speakers from within and outside Africa on the themes enumerated above and working group’s discussions. The following were highlighted after the 2 days deliberations;
a. The root of irregular migration is the interconnection of lack of good governance, inconsistent law enforcement response, abject poverty and lack of education and opportunities to earn a living. These create vulnerability thus making people prey to traffickers.
b. Participants also acknowledged that the Sustainable Development Goals and its implementation is an opportunity to engage in the eradication of human trafficking and modern slavery.

At the end of the 2 day workshop, participants committed to ending human trafficking and modern slavery with the under listed:
A. As organizations and faith based organization to ensure a holistic, person-centered, human right approach to survivors of human trafficking.
B. To mainstream the issue of human trafficking in other areas of our social pastoral work.
C. To engage and train religious leaders and key actors within our churches and faith communities on human trafficking to enable them speak up against this scourge.
D. To engage the media to reach out to people vulnerable to trafficking. Most importantly engage survivors of human trafficking to be anti-trafficking advocates.
E. To actively contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals especially those connected to human trafficking.
F. Governments were called upon to develop humane migration policies including lawful and safe channels for labour migration. They were also called to ratify and implement the International Conventions and Protocol such as UN Convention on International Crime and the Palermo Protocol for Countries yet to ratify.

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