The Ebonyi State Ministry of Women Affairs, the state police command, security agencies and other stakeholders in the fight against child trafficking in the state yesterday said that over 50 children had been rescued from traffickers in the state between May 2015 and presently.
The stakeholders disclosed this during a meeting in Abakaliki organised by the desk officer, National Agency for Trafficking in Persons, Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs. Florence Ali-Onwa, raising concern over increasing cases of child recruitment for sexual exploitation and hard labour in Ebonyi State.
Mrs. Ali-Onwa said the meeting was organised by her office to study the ugly trend as well as efforts by the state government to curb the menace.
According to her, investigations reveal that her office, the police, immigration and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp, NSCDC, have in the last few months recorded multiple cases of child trafficking involving over 50 children across the state.
According to Mrs. Grace Okoro, a police officer in charge of Juvenile Welfare Centre, Abakaliki, which oversees cases of child trafficking within the state, the Assistant Comptroller of Immigration in charge of anti human trafficking in Ebonyi State command, Mr. Martin Ifeatu pointed out that some of the victims were trafficked beyond the shores of the country through the Trans Sahara Highway.
The deputy commander of National Agency for Trafficking in Persons in the South-East Zone, Mrs Comfort Agboko in a reaction emphasised that curbing human trafficking in Ebonyi State required political will.
Mrs. Agboko urged security agencies in the state to always transfer rescued persons to the agency for proper rehabilitation and monitoring.
The state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Rebecca Ogbuewu assured the stakeholders of government’s readiness to put an end to the illegal business.
Mrs Ogbuewu said the ministry would also strategise on how to stamp pout child labour at rice mills and quarry sites in the state.

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