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The Cross River State 50 Refugee settlement leaders that attended the townhall meeting

As she strives toward continuous engagement with Stakeholders, Caritas Nigeria conducted a community-level Anti-Human Trafficking town hall interactive meeting in Adagomi with several stakeholders on anti-human trafficking in Cross River State

including 50 Refugee settlement leaders, 20 Cameroonian Refugee Settlement Leaders, 5 Church Leaders, 3 SEMA/Vigilante Watch Groups, 10 Anti-Human Trafficking (AHT) Community Watch Group Members, 6 Refugee women, and the youth, and 2 community Base Organizations (CBOs), and 4 Anti- Human Trafficking (AHT) Volunteers/Protection Monitors.

The meeting was to further create awareness, sensitize and strengthen our support structures, collaboration, and partnership with refugee leadership in Adagom 1 in the Anti-human Trafficking efforts in the State.

The high point of the meeting was the concerns raised about human trafficking in and around the refugee settlement, which is majorly caused by a lack of trust, and deception from close family members, benefactors, and friends. The challenge of broken confidentiality, the threat to life, and the fear of victimization were connected to the factors hampering reporting of  Anti- Human trafficking (AHT) cases in the settlement. The meeting also advocated for feasible feedback mechanisms; and how best to carry out sensitization beyond settlement clusters.  A sincere approach to the root causes of trafficking-poverty, ignorance, and lack of opportunities was also identified as some of the major drivers of why people migrate out of the settlement in search of greener pastures.

In the question and answer session, the following expectations such as challenges faced by Persons of concern in reporting cases of Human Trafficking in the settlement, reasons behind the culture of silence amongst the refugee communities, and what best practices to make people open up to cases of Child abuse and human trafficking related cases and how best to disseminate Anti-human trafficking message more widely in the settle beyond periodic cluster sensitization exercises was tackled.

At the end of the meeting, parents were advised to be on the constant watch of their wards and not to give out their children to strangers or benefactors. Confidentially amongst Caritas Nigeria staff, quick response and coordination with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP)  which is the agency institiuted by the Federal Government of Nigeria’s response to addressing the scourge of trafficking in persons be strengthened and sustained.

 

 Report and pictures courtesy Emmanuel Nnacho from Edo State

 

  

 

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