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Report from Ozoro Community, Nigeria

1801 trafficking ozoro thumbPoverty, unemployment, corruption, and greed has increased the rate of human and organ trafficking in Nigeria. On 25th January, I gave a talk to Students of Good Shepherd Secondary School, Oyede, Delta State. The two hundred and seventy students were so curious to know more about the modern slavery of human trafficking.

After watching the video on human trafficking they came up with various solutions on how to end trafficking in Nigeria.

1801 trafficking ozoro2On Sunday 19th March, I was invited by the Knight of St. Mulumba of St. Gregory Parish, Agbarho, Delta State to give a talk on human trafficking. This took place after the two Masses at 7.00 am and 9.00 am. The parishioners viewed a video on human trafficking which showed how trafficked persons are transported from one place to another on a very dangerous route to unknown places. This message brought horror to the audience and made great impression on the dangers of wanting to travel abroad at all costs.

Amaka was missing and was suspected to be trafficked. On Sunday 3rd September, I gave a talk to Parishioners of St. Mary's at Ajegunle, Lagos, at four Masses. I started by asking the people how many of them would like to travel abroad, all hands were up, I began to tell them how Amaka was deceived into trafficking by the end of my talk they got the message that travelling abroad at all costs is very risky and how one could fall into the hands of evil traffickers or kidnappers or ritualist etc.

1801 trafficking ozoro1On Monday 4th September, I went to Seme border (Benin Republic) to inform the Immigration Office in case Amaka might be crossing to the neighbouring country. I also reported to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) office at Ikeja and they assigned an officer to follow up Amaka's case.

I also reported to NAPTIP office in Benin. I was invited to see some deportees from Libya and Mali if Amaka was among the deportees but she could not be found there. Our networking partners, in Ireland, Italy and Serbia were connected in the search for Amaka. On 20th October, to the glory of God, Amaka has returned from a network group that recruited her. NAPTIP agency helped to arrest the organisers of the network. Amaka has returned alive to the family.

The Catholic Secretariat at Abuja organized a two-day seminar on human trafficking on 4th and 5th October, it took place at Benin. We sponsored two young girls to attend, Comfort and Fejiro. They came back excited about the awareness they gained from the Seminar and they are now spreading the news against human trafficking.

On 23rd October a young woman whose two girls were trafficked to Lagos was in great distress and came to our Centre seeking for financial assistance to rescue her two children.

Our current economic recession has increased the poverty level in Nigeria, women and children are most vulnerable. The Religious Sisters of Charity are making a difference in the abolition of human trafficking.

Sr. Helen Eluagu, RSC.