The Girls Power Initiative (GPI), an NGO has organized a Town Hall Meeting in Egor Local Government Area as part of a six-month strategic and comprehensive plan to drum support for Anti- Human Trafficking crusade in Edo State.
The town hall meeting, which was held at the GPI corporate headquarters, off Ekewan Road, Benin City is the second in the series with an earlier one held at the Oredo Local Government Council Secretariat Benin City last month.
GPI is currently working with the Belgium Immigration Authority to raise awareness on Human Trafficking and irregular Migration among in and out of school children and the general public in Edo South, Senatorial District.
The meeting afforded participants the opportunity to x-ray migration, trafficking and smuggling of humans.
In her presentation, a programme officer with GPI, Blessing Ehigwina said people of both sexes can be trafficked, with girls/women most vulnerable due to their poor status in the society.
These women/young girls and boys in some cases, she said are from the vulnerable group of uneducated and poorly educated people of low socio-economic status.
Trafficked persons, according to her trafficked are exposed to various degree of hazards, including unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, trauma pregnancy, trauma, physical abuse, rape, battery, drug abuse, pregnancy, forced abortion, robbery, psychological torture, human rights violation, starvation especially during long journeys through the desert and death in some cases.
She identified elements of trafficking to include, use of threat, coercion/force, deception, fraud, abduction, use of power or position of vulnerability as well as giving/receiving of payment or benefits to achieve the consent of a person.
According to her, human trafficking can be stopped by realizing that the life of the trafficked person or intending trafficked person is at risk, as well as spreading messages on the dangers of being trafficked.
Alternatives to trafficking, she said included, giving birth to the number of children of manageable size as well as provision of job opportunities by both government and private individuals.