By Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu
Benin City — A total of 20 victims and a baby were at the weekend handed over to Edo State government by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
The victims were recently deported from Libya and were handed over to the government in the spirit of the new partnership for development that exists between the agency and the state government.
It would be recalled that few days ago, the Director General of NAPTIP, Barr Julie Okah-Donli, sought the support of the state government in the rehabilitation and empowerment of victims of human trafficking.
Governor Godwin Obaseki, who visited the NAPTIP office and shelter, pledged the support of his administration to train and empower victims of human trafficking so that they could be properly reintegrated while addressing the root causes of the problem.
At the ceremony, Acting Benin Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, Nduka Nwanwenne, commended the state government on the initiative.
The Head of Service, Edo State, Mrs. Gladys Idaho, who received the victims on behalf of state government, said the governor is concerned with the welfare of every one in the state.
She said that the entire society must stand up for victims of human trafficking. She also enjoined the victims not to have regrets about the past but look forward to an assured future.
The youngest of the victims is a baby of six months old, whose mother, was said to have been impregnated by an insurgent group member during the journey to Libya. There was also a nine-year-old boy who was said to have been rescued in the Mediterranean Sea and who lost track of his mother while crossing to Europe. The average age of the victims was 22 years.
Some of the victims opted to be trained in vocational skills such as fashion and hairdressing, catering and hotel management, event management while others opted to go back to school.