Human trafficking proceeds hit $32b, says ECOWAS chair
• Liberian leader seeks strict policy implementation
The proceeds of human trafficking in West Africa has risen to $32billion yearly, Chairman, Economic Community of West African States [ECOWAS] Permanent Representative and Liberia President, Ellen Sirleaf Johnson has said.
She warned that unless member states take bold steps to implement policy measures put in place by the body, human trafficking in the sub-region will continue to increase.
The Liberian leader spoke yesterday in Abuja during the opening ceremony of the three-day ECOWAS Annual Technical Meeting of Member States Focal Institutions on Counter Trafficking in Persons.
President Sirleaf Jonhson said: ‘’Despite the progress globally and in our region, trafficking remains a serious human security challenge that defies collective. endeavors, unfortunately, very few members states are hitherto, slow in taking bold actions in implementing effective policy measures to combat and stem human trafficking.’’
She further said it is more worrisome to note that in line with United Nations Children’s Fund is a United Nations (UNICEF) current report, it is estimated that the profit generated from human trafficking globally presently stood at $32 billion.
Represented by the Liberia Ambassador to Nigeria, Prof. Al-Hassan Conteh, the ECOWAS chairperson urged participants to ponder on the critical questions of how member states can work together to domesticate the ECOWAS Plan of Action to win the war against human trafficking as well as how measures must be put in place to restore the lost faith and trust of the youths across the sub-regional countries in stemming a new wave of the menace.
The Annual Technical Meeting since inauguration in 2007 has served as a useful platform to review and monitor member states implementation of the ECOWAS Plan of Action on Trafficking in Persons. Iit has its objectives of validating the new plan of action on trafficking in persons for 2017-2022, evaluate member states activities on combat of trafficking in persons for year 2015 and capacity building of the fiscal points on counter trafficking measures..
In her Speech, the Commissioner, Social Affairs and Gender of ECOWAS, Dr. Fatima Dia Sow said this year’s meeting is even more important in view of the process initiated by the body in the past two years for the evaluation of the last plan of action and adoption of a new plan of action.
‘’The focal points from the member states in this gathering will be called upon to consider for valuation a new plan of action that builds on the successes of the last and emphasises both the migration linkages with human trafficking and forced labor as well as emerging issues in combating human trafficking,’’she said.
The post Human trafficking proceeds hit $32b, says ECOWAS chair appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.