BENIN CITY – The Girls’ Power Initiative (GPI), an NGO has held the commencement meeting of the PACKING project.
PACKING is the Protection of migrants and Asylum seekers especially Children and women coming from Nigeria and victims of trafficking.
The two-year programme, co-funded by the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) of the European Union (EU) has seven implementing partners, according to to Grace Osakue, Chairperson Executive Board, Girls’ Power Initiative (GPI) and Co-ordinator, GPI Edo State
She listed the implementing partners to include, End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT) France; Acting for Life France; Centre National de Recherche Scientifique France, Institute Francais de Recherche en Afrique du Nigeria; Les Amis du Bus des Femmes France; Mercy Wings Organisation for Combating Human Trafficking, Libya and GPI.
The project activities which shall be located in Edo Central Senatorial District include, raising awareness among in-school children through Training of Trainers, Peer Education activities, film screening as well as awareness raising among community members through Market campaigns, Town hall meetings, Film screening, Drama, Debate and Radio programme.
The goal of the packing project, the GPI coordinator said is increased awareness of the true nature and risk of trafficking human beings and irregular migration among children, young women, parents, community members and leaders in the senatorial district.
According to her, as part of the project activities, a total of three students and a teacher from 71 public schools would be trained as peer educators on the use of film screening for raising awareness and personal skills building to say “No to trafficking”.
Also, she said there shall be peer education activities by trained students for 35,000 persons, as well as radio debate competition for minors.
At an interactive session of the meeting, Mr. Stephen Selowo of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) gave a graphic picture of the human trafficking situation in Edo Central Senatorial District, saying that Esan Communities are next to Benin City in terms of recorded human trafficking.
According to him, traffickers now move towards rural communities to recruit their victims due to low awareness level in the locality.
Mrs. Ataluku J.I. (Superintendent), Officer in Charge, of Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Labour, Nigeria Immigration Service, Edo State Command identified the challenges in both legal and illegal migration to include cultural differences and discrimination, job security, employment opportunities and access to social facilities.