Human trafficking: UK budgets £12m to assist Nigerian victims

human trafficking

The United Kingdom says it has set aside £12 million (about N10 billion) to assist victims of human trafficking and modern-day slavery in Nigeria.

The Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Nigeria (APPG) in the UK, Kate Osamor, made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday.

Osamor, who is of Nigerian descent and a member of British Parliament, led a delegation of APPG members to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

The lawmaker, who was elected in May, 2015 to represent Edmonton, said the delegation was on a fact-finding mission to Nigeria.

She commended the Federal Government for its efforts in addressing the human trafficking challenge.

According to her, the UK Government is ready to support Nigeria to end human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

She said that the UK would help Nigeria by rehabilitating and empowering the victims through skills acquisition and education.

According to her, the £12 million is a joint effort of the UK government, from the Home Office and the Department for International Development (DFID), to support anti-trafficking in Nigeria.

She said that the APPG was particularly engaged in UK-Nigeria diaspora links, avenues for economic and private sector growth in Nigeria, issues of conflict and security, good governance and development.

The British lawmaker said that APPG recognised the importance of Nigeria to the UK and Africa and sought to enhance understanding of the key regional and international players.

“The delegation is on a fact-finding mission to examine Nigerian and UK-led initiative to combat people trafficking from Nigeria to the UK and areas of current and potential cooperation.

“The visit is supported by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, UK and will consider the remittance and scope of 12 million pounds UK government’s support for anti-trafficking efforts in Nigeria,” she said.

Osamor added that the visit was to further build parliamentary understanding of human trafficking from Nigeria.

“My impression that I will take back to the UK is that Nigeria has been in the forefront of taking this epidemic seriously.

“We in the UK will be taking it seriously to support them to ensure that anyone that is a victim of slavery is taken for rehabilitation and get a vocation for such.

“This is to help them back out and live a better life that every child must live,” she said.

Osamor promised to use her position and connection as a diasporan based in the UK and chair of the group to seek more support to assist the victims.

“We need to make the diaspora aware of the issue and encourage them to speak up on how we can help those victims in Nigeria and those children,” she added.   

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