African Journalists have been urged to build and strengthen cooperation to tackle human trafficking and push the continent’s efforts in global commitment to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development (SDGs).
The Global Goal Eight enjoins governments around the globe to promote and ensure decent work and economic growth by 2030.
According to Mr. Vincent Adekoye, the Press Officer of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person in Nigeria, effective cooperation among journalists in Africa would not only identify and rescue survivors but empower them to understand country dynamics and modern trends of human trafficking.
Speaking at a media training workshop on human trafficking, underway in Accra, Mr. Adekoye noted that human trafficking remained a key global issue and worst in Africa, and therefore entreated the media to put a spotlight on the canker to attract governmental support.
“If criminally-minded and lawless people who are enemy of society can form syndicates and coalition and operate, then the media which is a legal institution must be able to form regional cooperation and strengthen counter-trafficking efforts in Africa,” he stated.
Expertise France, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) is organising the four-day workshop, being attended by 20 selected Journalists, 10 each from Ghana and Nigeria and aimed at empowering them to pitch and produce compelling stories in both countries.
The workshop forms part of the NGO’s regional project to “support the fight against human trafficking in the Gulf of Guinea countries” including Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Guinea, Cote’ D’Ivoire and Togo being implemented by the organisation with funding from the European Union (EU).
Mr. Adekoye emphasised a ‘pool of regional cooperation of Journalists in Africa’ was needed to put a spotlight on the canker which remained inimical not only to the growth and development of survivors, but also the continent.
He therefore commended the organisers for the workshop, and expressed the hope that the participants would build networks and interact often when they return to their home countries.
Mr. Charles Autheman, a media consultant and a facilitator expressed worry about lack of political will and commitment to tackle human trafficking, saying “the lack of political will in Africa is an indication that some of the politicians are engaged in the process.”
“Human trafficking is not specific to Ghana and Nigeria, and African governments must therefore demonstrate political will to tackle the menace,” he added.
Mr Autheman regretted that many trafficked people were unfamiliar with the process they went through, due to illiteracy and asked the media to intensify public education on the canker.