The wife of Ebonyi Governor, Mrs. Maudline Nwifuru and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) have warned parents to desist from giving out their underaged children as house helps.
They gave the warning in Abakaliki, during a road walk to mark the 2023 World Day Against Human Trafficking.
The day is commemorated every July 30, to raise awareness of disturbing development and trend.
Mrs Nwifuru, who led the road walk, addressed the public that the awareness was organised to end all forms of human trafficking and change the stereotype of Ebonyi people.
She cautioned the public on the dangers of sending children to serve as domestic help which would lead to maltreatment and molestation.
She said other acts to avoid included child labour, organ harvest and other forms of abuses which threatened their well-being.
She reiterated the state government’s commitment to end all forms of human trafficking and abuses perpetrated against minors.
“We will no longer take ignorance of the act as an excuse but the law will take its course accordingly against perpetrators of these crimes.
“Office of the Governor’s Wife and other relevant agencies in the state are saying no to child trafficking, labor, organ harvest and other crimes against our children.
“l do not want any Ebonyi child to be trafficked. When you allow your child to be trafficked, some of them have their organs harvested, sold off to early marriages and are exposed to all forms of abuse.
“So we are determined to end all forms of abuse,” Nwifuru said.
The governor’s wife, out of passion and care, promised to support one Nwamaka Uchenna, an 11 years old girl in education.
Mrs Bertha Offor, Head NAPTIP in Ebonyi, also emphasized the need for parents to raise their children and resist every pressure to be lured into the ugly trends.
Offor maintained that the agency would not relent in the fight and promised to extend the awareness campaign to the grassroots.
She noted that the 2023 theme: “Reaching every victim of trafficking, leave no one behind,” was apt.
“It is an offence, henceforth for children below 12 years to serve as house help,” Offor said.
Mrs Felicia Nwankpuma, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, cautioned parents to take complete responsibility and care of their children and wards to avoid the trend.
Mr Simon Offiah, Zonal Commander, NAPTIP who spoke on behalf of the Director-General of the agency, Mrs Fatima Waziri-Azi, lauded Mrs Nwifuru for championing the course against the scourge.
Mrs Lauretta Nwafor, the state Coordinator, Network Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour, disclosed that the trend was alarming.
“Social, print and electronic media have shown where Ebonyi children are being trafficked and abused.
“This is why wife of the governor led the awareness campaign to sensitise the general public to stop the trend,” Nwafor said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that representatives of the state judiciary, ministry of women affairs, state and non-state actors attended the road walk.