NHRC Demands End To Modern Day Slavery In Nigeria

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has called for an end to all forms of modern day slavery in the country. 

The NHRC said it was the right of individuals to enjoy freedom regardless of their status in the society. 

The Commission’s Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu, made the call in Abuja in commemoration of the 2020 International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade (IDRVS) on Saturday.

Ojukwu said it was pertinent to end modern slavery in order to enable the rural and urban poor, the rich, the downtrodden, the displaced and the homeless to enjoy human rights.

He noted that, “Inspite of the abolition of slave trade’ several decades ago, many countries including are still grappling with other forms of modern day slavery such as human trafficking.

“Others are sexual slavery, child or forced labour, prostitution, enlistment of minors in military service, servitude or removal of organ for pecuniary benefits, osu,ohu and other cast systems etc .

“The theme of this year’s remembrance, “Confronting Slavery’s Legacy of Racism Together”, is apt given the fact that racism plays a critical role in promoting slavery”  he said.

“The relevant Sections of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and other regional and international human rights instruments to which Nigeria is a signatory, all condemn slavery in all its ramifications.

“It is a disturbing trend where young Nigerian men, women and girls are trafficked to various parts of the world including Saudi Arabia, Italy, Libya etc. in the name of searching for greener pasture only for them to become stranded and face various forms of inhuman and degrading treatment” he added.

According to the NHRC boss, the commission was working with relevant agencies to curb all forms of modern day slavery, servitude and other related practices in the country. 

He condemned some parents who were reported to have locked up members of their families in solitary and inhuman confinements for years with little or no food. 

Ojukwu urged members of the public to be vigilant and report any suspected migration, child abuse or molestation and the attendant human rights violations to the Commission, NAPTIP or the Police, for the necessary interventions. 

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