Obaseki, Spanish Ambassador commit to stronger bilateral cooperation to fight human trafficking, others

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The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, and the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Marcelino Cabanas, have agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation and deploy a mix of strategies in the fight against human trafficking and illegal migration in the state.

Speaking during a courtesy visit to the governor, by members of  Action Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Nigeria (A-TIPSOM), led by Ambassador Cabanas, Obaseki said:  “If we step up bi-lateral agreement it will go a long way to help us know those that want to travel and get them prepared for Europe. This agreement will help us reduce the risk, save money and life.”

According to the Spanish Ambassador, “The only way to fight irregular migration and human trafficking is to create investments and jobs for young people in the state as it will discourage them from taking the risk of embarking on dangerous journeys to Europe.”

Cabanas assured that A-TIPSOM will collaborate with Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking (ETAHT) in creating awareness, sensitisation, advocacy, partnership, fighting syndicates and in sharing information to tackle irregular migration head-on.

He also assured that the organisation will work with ETAHT in the area of funding shelter for vulnerable people especially women and children.

The envoy further pledged that ETAHT will get support in the area of training, with focus on investigations and prosecution as A-TIPSOM and the European Union (EU) will offer their expertise.

We need international and Bi-lateral cooperation to fight the scourge of human trafficking which is impeding on human rights and freedoms,” he added.

Obaseki acknowledged the support of the European Union in tackling the challenges posed by irregular migration, and said that his administration was working vigorously to nip the problem in the bud.

“As a government we acknowledge it as a problem, we are never ashamed to speak about it and we are already taking giant steps in stemming the ugly trend.

“We are committed to eradicating irregular migration in Edo State and we seek your collaboration to enable us succeed in the fight,” the governor said, adding that his administration is investing in its citizens as well as creating jobs for them.

“We are investing in basic education, technical colleges, College of Agriculture, to bequeath highly sought-after skills to our youth. We are working with the World Bank as the investment is huge. We need your assistance to help us access funding from the European Investment Bank,” he added.

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