Rise International (YoRI) a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) with focus on empowering the poor and socially excluded has called on African governments to put in place radical poverty eradication policies and programmes.
This, the NGO believed was the most critical and sustainable approach to end human trafficking on the continent.
It noted that poverty was the root cause of human trafficking in Africa and stressed the urgent need to put in place strategic economic empowerment and social protection interventions to end poverty on the continent.
These were contained in a statement issued and signed Mr David Awusi, Executive Director of Youth Rise International in commemoration of the celebration of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
“Globally, over 700 million people worldwide are currently estimated to be living in extreme poverty and over 70% of global poverty is in African countries. Pathetically, COVID-19 is expected to add as many as 150million persons to extreme poor by 2021 (World Bank, 2020). Sadly, there is evidence of strong positive relationship between extreme poverty and human trafficking. So human trafficking will not end without an end to extreme poverty”, the statement said.
The NGO also called on African Governments to put in place practical social protection policies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on jobs and business failures of citizens.
Additionally, it stressed the need for the existing social protection and cash transfer programmes such as the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) to be expanded to include families in rural areas such as farmers, fisherfolks, single mothers and widows.
“Youth Rise International has the firm belief that through such actions, as a continent, we shall be contributing to ending forced labour by 2025 as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, the statement said.
"Women, men, boys and girl have the basic needs – for food, shelter, and clothing, among others. And it will surely require money to provide them. If they do not have money to provide those due to job losses and business failures exacerbated by COVID-19 pandemic, then when a trafficker comes over with meagre money to the parents promising their children job opportunities in the city or abroad, they will surely accept”, it added.