Benin monarch, Uwaibi, Belgium envoy seek synergy in fight against human trafficking


Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, and the Ambassador of Belgium to Nigeria, Pieter Leenknegt, recently, called for collaboration and sustained advocacy against human trafficking and irregular migration.

Amb. Leenknegt was accompanied by the Managing Director, Edo State Investment Promotion office (ESIPO), Kelvin Uwaibi, and a director in the State Civil Service, Mosis Obakpolor, during a courtesy visit to the palace of the Oba, in Benin City, Edo State.

Speaking, Oba Ewuare II said that human trafficking does not seem to be a menace that can be completely eradicated from society, except with concerted efforts.

The monarch said that human trafficking and illegal migration, which are intertwined, though not peculiar to the African continent, pose a great threat to Europe and other continents of the world.

The Oba recalled how the palace took serious steps to address the scourge when Benin City was erroneously tagged, by Western media, as a hub for human trafficking a few years back.

According to the Benin monarch, “human trafficking is a menace that has been with mankind for a long time. The problem is that human trafficking is tied to illegal migration.”

On his part, Leenknegt lamented the plights of many Nigerian migrants, adding that they are being exploited. He commended Oba Ewuare II for leading the campaign against human trafficking and irregular migration, noting that the Belgian government plans to cooperate with Nigeria, relevant institutions and other stakeholders in sensitising people about the risk of getting entangled in the network of human traffickers. He said: “Your Majesty, I know that the fight against human trafficking and exploitation is very close to your heart.”

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