Human Trafficking: Obaseki Calls for Stiffer Penalties for Offenders

Edo state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has advocated for stiffer penalties for those arrested for human trafficking.

To achieve that, he called for stronger collaboration between international organizations in fighting the menace of human trafficking and illegal migration.

The governor made the call at the commemoration of this year’s World Day for International Justice, marked every July 17, by the United Nations and its agents.

July 17 also celebrates the Rome Statute and the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Obaseki also called for the involvement of the ICC in effecting stiffer punishment for perpetrators, especially cartels propagating the dastardly act.

According to him, “as countries and sub-national actors work towards curbing human trafficking and illegal migration, it is important to stress that there is an international angle to the campaign due to the extensive network of perpetrators.

“So, we need stiffer measures and a more holistic approach to mitigating the menace.

“At the state level, we have made concerted efforts to tackle human trafficking by enacting the Edo State
Trafficking in Persons Prohibition Law (2018) and establishing the Edo State Task-force Against Human Trafficking (ETAHT).

“We also have the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law and the Child Rights Law. All of these are legal instruments that underpin our commitment to protect our people and rid the state of tyranny against vulnerable persons.”

Obaseki said it was important to have the ICC look into some of the activities of cartels that were exploiting unsuspecting people and ultimately leading them into what could best be described as modern-day slavery.

He said the state government and its institutions were ready to work with the ICC and other such international agencies in fighting the scourge of human trafficking.

He added that measures were already being taken to reintegrate those who had been returned from the risky journeys of migrating to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea.