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JIFORM seeks urgent help for 30 Nigerian ladies trafficked to Lebanon

30 Nigerian ladies trafficked to Lebanon now stranded in the country have appealed to the Nigerian authorities to come to their rescue as videos of their predicament hit the social media.

The Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM), through its President, Ajibola Abayomi, relayed the message after exclusive encounter with victims through a statement on Friday and called for speedy rescue action from the government.

He said beyond lamentations, JIFORM had forwarded details of the human trafficking agents involved in the matter to the relevant agencies and shall diligently monitor it to the logical conclusion to ensure proper investigation and prosecution of all those involved.

The ladies all camped in one room with faulty toilet and other utilities are presently housed in a building at city of Dawra in Lebanon.

Narrating their ordeals, one of the victims who spoke on behalf others, Miss Adebisi Comfort Oluwatoyin with passport number A10597908, said they had to escape from inhumane treatment being meted to them by their mistresses and hosts to assemble at their present location.

The 23 years old lady hails from Ondo State, graduated from the Edo State Polytechnic, Ekpomma and was a resident in Osun state before departing Nigeria in December 2019.

“We are dying here and we need urgent rescue attention from our Nigerian government. We are appealing to Honourable Abike-Dabiri Erewa, Pastor Enoch Adeboye of Redeemed Church, Prophet Genesis of Celestial Church, Apostle Suleiman, Prohet T.B. Joshua and other men of God for prayers and help.
“Help us plead with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and others to save us. The Nigerian embassy in Lebanon have tried but we want to go back home.

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“Our stories are pathetic and regrettable. We were told by agents before we left Nigeria that we are going to be paid between N250,000 and N30O,0000 a month as teachers and house maids but getting here we were subjected to sexual labour and other terrible jobs.

“Our belongings and international passports were seized with no payments for the service we have been rendering for months. They loosen and cut our hairs with razor blade.

“Every day, we are being beaten with constant harassments from the Lebanese police. Our employers cooked all sorts of stories against us by lying that we stole their gold, killed their children and manhandled their aged ones without any evidence. The police and their immigration are always on their side. We are not getting justice and our lives are in danger.
“At the moment many of us are sick and down with ulcer, tuberculosis and other illness and the hospitals here are not attending to us because we have no document to prove our status. We are dying. It is really a crime to be a black in this world. We want to go back home and shall be contented with whatever rehabilitation scheme government can give us” Adebisi lamented.

Speaking from the United States of America, the Executive Director/Co-Founder of Rescue Africans In Slavery Organisation (RAIS), Ms Omotola Fawunmi who said she has been responsible for the upkeep of the ladies pleaded with the government and other agencies to join the rescue mission.

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“Over the years, we have been in involved in this. These ladies are really suffering. The Nigerian government must act fast. Apart from this case, there are over 300 of them trapped in Oman and thousands across other Asia countries, beyond sustaining the ladies, we have facilitated evacuation of thousands of human trafficking victims in last few years and also provided them with medical and series of rehabilitation supports. All of us must fight human trafficking to save our youths” she counseled.

Also worried about the development, the County Manager, The Migrant Project, Nigeria, Clare Henshaw called for swift action to be taken by NAPTIP and NIDCOM.

“First, we want the ladies to be rescued as soon as possible. Their condition is very critical because they don’t have good shelter, food and they need urgent medical attention. My personal conversation with Comfort showed that they were really in a bad state at the moment.

“After rescuing the ladies, there must be thorough investigation and punishment for the agents and other human traffickers involved in this.”

When contacted, the Nigeria Immigration Service, through its National Public Relations Officer, Deputy Comptroller James Sunday said all hands were on deck to redeem the situation by working with the NIDCOM and other agencies.
According him, the Nigerian ambassador and the ladies in Lebanon had been contacted for necessary intervention as he cautioned the ladies to refrain from further posts on the social media for security reasons.

Statement issued on behalf of NAPTIP Director General Barrister Julie Okah-Donli by the agency’s Press Officer, Mr Vincent Adekoye reads thus:
“The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) is deeply concerned and shares the pains of the Nigerian girls who are stranded in Lebanon.
“It will be recalled that since May 2020, NAPTIP has, through the collaboration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ministry of humanitarian affairs Nigerians in Diaspora Commission and the EU -International Organisation for Migration joint initiative and the Nigerian Embassy in Lebanon repatriated more than 100 victims of forced labour from Lebanon.

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“The Agency will work assiduously with all relevant authorities and partners to locate these girls and ensure that they return safely as soon as possible.
NAPTIP reiterates its appeal to young Nigerians to beware of people dangling tempting jobs in foreign lands as fake labour agents who are traffickers deploy all kinds of tricks to lure their potential victims.”

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Displaced Yemen children at risk of the deadly impacts of severe food insecurity  

Migrants near Budapest

The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Acute Malnutrition analysis released today by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and other partners is extremely concerning. With limited access to food, humanitarian services and health care, displaced children in Yemen are at risk of the deadly impacts of severe food insecurity.

Around 26 per cent of the more than 156,000 people newly displaced this year, in the areas where the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has access, cited food as their main need. This is the second most cited need after shelter and housing, which 65 per cent of people reported as their main need. In areas where there are higher levels of displacement, like Al Hudaydah, Taizz, Al Dhale’e and Marib, higher levels of food needs have also been reported.

“Displaced Yemenis leave their homes with nothing and often find themselves seeking safety in locations where there are no job opportunities and barely enough services, including health care,” said Christa Rottensteiner, IOM Chief of Mission for Yemen.

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“This can leave vulnerable people without enough food to feed their families. Given that UN partners are reporting that acute malnutrition rates among children under five are the highest ever recorded in parts of Yemen, we are extremely worried about children in displaced families.”

The situation in Marib is particularly concerning given that an escalation in hostilities has displaced over 90,000 people to the city and caused a drastic shortage of services. Displaced people in Marib report food to be one of their most urgent needs. Of the displacement sites assessed by IOM in October, some reported that food shortages were a major concern for approximately 50 per cent of their residents.

In response to food insecurity, the emergency aid kits distributed under the Rapid Response Mechanism by IOM to newly displaced families include emergency food rations. IOM also carries out livelihood support activities for displaced communities to help them generate income. Most recently the Organization supported displaced women in making face masks which help their community combat the spread of COVID-19.

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IOM also operates a health centre in Al Jufainah Camp, Yemen’s largest displacement site, and multiple mobile health clinics. In addition to providing primary health care services to over 55 per cent of displaced people in Marib, IOM’s mobile health clinics provide community level access to malnutrition screening for children under the age of five and referral for treatment, in coordination with UNICEF. Given the high demand for such nutritional support, early intervention is vital to reducing avoidable morbidity and mortality among displaced children.

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Nigerians in Spain say no to genocide

Nigerians resident in Spain have kicked against bad governance and brutalitalisation of innocent citizens by security operatives in Nigeria.

They are in solidarity with the #Endsars protesters.

The #Endsars protest  started by young Nigerians to say no to brutality, impunity and gruesome killings in the hands of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the government in the country saw security operatives using live bullets on the protesters last week, October 21, 2020.

In a statement signed by Afolabi Oloko, the Nigerians in Spain said: “In every part  of the world, including Nigeria, we believe protesting is a fundamental right of all citizenry that we can exercise whenever we deem it fit as long as it is civil and devoid of violence but such is not the case in Nigeria where the young future of the country are murdered by their very own government just because they made demands that there must be a reform to the notorious Police department and that the country be reformed in general. Have they asked for too much from a responsible and responsive government?

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“It is so disheartening that after Ten days that the youth refused to back down they resorted to killing, maiming of their own future generations just because they asked and begged for good governance and good policing. It’s a shame that young people are being killed all around the cities of Nigeria from Lagos, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Abuja, Ondo , Benin, Porthacort just to mention a few. It was horrendous seeing over seventy people being murdered at night while still protesting unarmed peacefully in Lekki area of Lagos state. They organised by switching off the street light while they carried out their evil deed against defenceless young people of the country and also took away the CCTV. The commander-in-chief of the Armed forces in person of President Muhamodu Buhari must be tried at the International court for genocide against it’s own people.

“We the compatriots far away in Spain are with our young brothers and sister on the streets saying no to bad governance as you’re in our hearts and prayers. We support you in the just cause you’re are fighting. Fighting for one’s future should not be seen as an affront to the authorities, rather they should look inward and realise that the system is rotten and should be cleansed but not killing innocent young men on the streets with Army being deployed to take lives of vibrant and resourceful, frustrated and change hungry citizens.
“Today, we came out in multitude in solidarity with our compatriots back home to say #ENDSARS! #ENDBADGOVERNANCE #ENDPOLICEBRUTALITY #ENDCORUPTION #ENDTHEGENOCIDE”

READ  COVID 19: Thousands of migrants stranded as 220 countries impose travel restrictions

 

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ILO, IOM sign agreement to strengthen collaboration on migration governance

The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) today signed an Agreement to create a framework for cooperation and collaboration to enhance the benefits of migration for all.

The framework includes joint support for improved migration governance, capacity building and policy coherence at national, regional and global levels. Other areas of work may also be developed.

The Agreement was signed by Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General, and António Vitorino, the IOM Director-General, on Friday at the ILO Headquarters in Geneva.

Speaking after the signing ceremony, Ryder said, “this Agreement seals an important alliance between our two organizations. Together, we will be stronger and more effective in both fulfilling our individual mandates and in collaborating on areas that are crucial for reshaping the world of work so that it is more inclusive, equitable and sustainable.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a brutal impact on economies and societies. Vulnerable groups, particularly migrant workers and their families, are being disproportionately hit. There could be no better time to reinforce our partnership and combine our strengths, so that we can help countries and our constituents build back for a better future.”

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DG Vitorino said, “the agreement that we are signing today will help us further solidify our collaboration at the time when joint solutions are so much needed, with a pandemic that is hitting the most vulnerable the hardest. As we move towards post-pandemic recovery, we fully embrace the call to build a better world together, tapping into the added value of each partner. With ILO, we have much to co-create and we look forward to future cooperation within the broader UN family, with our partner governments, private sector and civil society.”

The new ILO-IOM Agreement builds on the agencies’ comparative advantages, expertise, and respective constituencies. By encouraging joint initiatives, the Agreement aims to strengthen international migration governance and boost cooperation, capacity building and joint advocacy to promote migrants’ rights and decent work opportunities.

By encouraging social dialogue, it will allow workers` and employers` organizations – who sit equally with governments in the ILO’s tripartite membership structure – to contribute to policy discussions.

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A workplan will be developed in the next six months to push forward the collaboration at global, regional and country levels and, more importantly, facilitate the implementation of the Agreement in the field, where both agencies are working directly with affected populations.

It will seek to enhance the agencies joint contribution to their member states, UN country teams, and societies to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Agreement will also allow the ILO and IOM to strengthen support for their respective constituencies in implementing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM), and contribute to other global and regional migration policy fora and debates.

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