“Ehi (my friend) told me that if we saved about 150,000 to 300,000 Naira we would be able to move to a better country and live a better life. She introduced me to a woman who took (had) ‘pity’ on us and vowed to help us. She said the journey would take less than two weeks and voila! We would embrace a ‘new life.’ She said we needed about 350,000 Naira. I went to borrow and so did my friend and away we went to find this ‘helper’. We made the trip and so began my journey into the dark world of human trafficking. She was right in a way indeed we were welcomed into a brand new life just not the one we were expecting”. Sadly, that is the recurring tale for more than half of the victims of human trafficking. They are lured with the idea of a “different and better life”. They are eventually introduced to a different life alright, just not a better one. Worldwide, Nigeria is listed as one of the countries with the highest number of trafficked victims (according to the 2018 Global Slavery Index, 1,386,000 Nigerians are living in modern day slavery). Also according to the EU delegation to Nigeria and West African States, Mr. Richard Young noted that 50% of the 60,000 Nigerians stranded in Libya camps were from Edo state. The problem moves closer home for us and we as a people have suddenly found ourselves at the war front of a battle whether we like it or not.
Do you know that 90% of the returnees are skilled workers but lack business skills, self-esteem, dignity in labour, communication skills, visibility, access to market (secondary customers), business support, and emotional intelligence?
The fight against human trafficking is on-going and will continue to be for a long time. A lot has been done and more needs to be achieved. That is why we say “behind everything working, there is a worker” we like to be the worker at Genius Hub Global Initiative. We are working to put an end to the problem of Human Trafficking.
As one of the organizations at the forefront of the fight against human trafficking and irregular migration in Edo State, Genius Hub Global Initiative works closely with communities to sensitise them on the disadvantages of human trafficking and irregular migration, as well as equipping them with the necessary skills needed to live their dreams and be self-empowered.
We have also worked in collaboration with other organizations, local and international, to increase awareness on the evils of trafficking in persons and irregular migration and to increase the impact of our communication campaigns and self-empowerment trainings/ workshops.
Some of our collaborators and partners include:
Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking (ETAHT) inaugurated by the Edo State
Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on the 15th of August, 2017. We worked with them to equip returned irregular migrants with different skill sets including cosmetology, textile and fashion design, make-up artistry, etc.
British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATNF) last year collaborated with Genius Hub Global Initiative and ETAHT to train 100 returned irregular migrants on Welding and Metal Fabrication, Bead Making, Make-up artistry and Textile and Fashion Design. These returned irregular migrants were empowered with various start-up tools and equipment at the end of the training.
Genius Hub Global Initiative this year designed the methodology and executed the UK-Cabinet Office’s communication outreach campaign on the prevention of human trafficking and irregular migration in four endemic local government areas in Edo state – Ikpoba Okha, Orhionwmon, Esan West and Etsako Central. The campaign outreach has its strength hinged on promoting alternative livelihood opportunities available in Edo state. Its activities included Advocacy visits to Traditional Rulers, Chairmen of Local Government councils, Communities, Schools, Churches and Mosques, as well as town hall meetings, market awareness campaigns and road shows.
We are currently training returned migrants in hair dressing and textile & fashion design in partnership with Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) [German Society for International Cooperation GmbH]
These and many more we will continue to execute as we contribute to ending the war against human trafficking and irregular migration. Our objective is to curb this menace that is slowly destroying our society. At Genius Hub Global Initiative, we believe in creating impact, no matter how little it might be, as the saying goes – little drops of water make an ocean.