GOV. Babagana Zulum of Borno said that the state government had adopted proactive measures to demystify the operations of the Ministry of Justice to check sexual abuse and Gender Based Violence (GVB).
Zulum stated this at the inauguration of the 42-member Anti-Trafficking in Persons Task Force (ATIPTF) committee in Maiduguri.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ATIPTF committee was constituted by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), to enhance its operation at the grassroots.
Zulum said that the measure was imperative to strengthen the capacity of the ministry to handle cases of abuse as well as enhance protection and support services to women and children.
He attributed the spate of sexual abuse, abduction and violence against women and children to insurgency and porous borders in the state.
The governor noted that the state government adopted practical measures to check the menace and social vices as well as ensure promotion and protection of human dignity.
Zulum said: “However, the challenge posed by the borders not withstanding, we must deploy means to check sexual abuse, exploitation, slavery, domestic servitude, child labour and other acts that degrade humanity.
“We are apprehensive of the dangers of abuses; illicit drugs, proliferation of brothels, prostitution and unauthorized beer parlors in the state. We have not relent in our efforts to check such adversities within the ambit of the law.
“Government made deliberate effort to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Justice to be more productive and decisive in handling such cases.”
According to him, 208 sexual abuse, rape, sales of babies and GBV cases were prosecuted in the state between 2017 to date.
Zulum explained that 152 of the cases were convicted and 25 terminated through legal advises for want of evidence while 31 others were pending before the courts.
The governor added that the state government had equally closed down illegal brothels to check prostitution and drug abuse in Maiduguri metropolis.
Mr Peter Okaye, representative of the Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator in the state, disclosed that over 600 GBV cases were recorded in 2018 by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
Okaye stressed the need for concerted efforts to enhance protection of persons displaced by the conflict and check abduction of persons by armed groups.
He pledged the UN support to the committee to enhance its operations in the state.
Ms Julie Okah-Donli, the NAPTIP’s Director General, said the committee was part of measures to enhance multi-sectorial approach in the campaign against human trafficking at state levels.
Okah-Dunli disclosed that committee would develop strategies to streamline anti trafficking activities, sensitization and enhance empowerment support to victims of trafficking and other forms of abuse.
She said the committee would work with the Ministry of Justice to enhance access to justice and other protection services to the victims and displaced persons at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the state.
The director noted that membership of the committee comprised representatives of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs), UN agencies, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), community and religious leaders as well as youths and women groups.
According to her, the agency had so far set up similar committees in six states and planned to replicate it in the 36 states. (NAN)
– Dec. 17, 2019 @ 12:49 GMT |