The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday set up a task force to curb the menace of human trafficking in the state.
Sanwo-Olu, who lamented that human trafficking, had become a profitable venture for criminals who exploited people by kidnapping and selling them into forced prostitution, forced labour and modern-day slavery, urged all members of the task force to see their appointment as a call to service.
He said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated many global inequalities and plunged many economies like ours into recession, leaving millions of people at greater risk of being trafficked for sexual exploitation, forced labour, forced marriages and other crimes. What this implies is that the pandemic has created more economic difficulties for many, especially women, young ladies and children who are the most vulnerable and might become exposed to the perils of human trafficking in a bid to seek better lives.
“I strongly believe that this initiative of constituting state Task Force on Human Trafficking could not have come at a better time than now when it is needed more than ever that we put human dignity and human rights at the forefront and governments at all levels need to join hands and make collaborative efforts to put an end to the scourge of human trafficking.”
The Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Julie Okah-Donli, in her address, noted that the problem of human trafficking and irregular migration had become a great national concern, especially with a large number of Nigerians trapped in sexual and labour exploitation in various African and European countries.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of the State, Moyosore Onigbanjo, who is the chairman of the task force, assured the governor that his team would fight the pandemic and ensure that people felt the impact of the task force in the state.