AS an organisation focused on strengthening vulnerable humans in the society, a non-governmental organisation, Human Development Initiatives (HDI), has canvassed for the proper utilisation of N75 billion Youth Investment Fund approved by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.
Speaking during this year’s World Against Human Trafficking day in Lagos, the Executive Director of HDI, Mrs. Olufunsho Owasanoye, also called for inter-agency collaboration to combat human trafficking in Nigeria.
She expressed worries on how human and child trafficking stories; including adolescents, young adults and children (male and female), who are trafficked to different countries of the world, are daily featured in the media.
Owasanoye lamented that trafficking, which according to her, has formed a multi-million-dollar business, thrives in Nigeria because of extreme poverty and high rate of unemployment among persons of employable age in the country.
She described stories of human trafficking as tales of woes, pain and anguish, saying many innocent young women smuggled into foreign countries in hope of a better life, have ended up as sex slaves with some paying the ultimate price due to the cruelty of trafficking.
Quoting from a report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), 70 percent of human trafficking victims are women and girls while 30 percent of the victims are children, of which 23 percent are girls while 7 percent are boys; Owasanoye noted the need for collaborated efforts to end the menace in Nigeria.
She commended Buhari-led administration for its efforts to evacuate Nigerians who are stranded in many parts of the world as a result of trafficking, adding that much still require to be done in empowering survivors and potential victims of trafficking.