July 30, 2021

Washington DC – Today, on this World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the world acknowledges the millions of people who are being trafficked around the globe. According to the United Nations’ “Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2020” over “50 percent” of trafficked people were for “sexual exploitation”. The report also noted that females were disproportionately targeted and predicted that trafficking would increase in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Traffickers make use of illicit economies and have extensive networks leaving even industrialized countries vulnerable to traffickers. There must be global action to put an end to this horrendous crime.

Rev. Nelson Adjei-Bediako, SMA Executive Director of the Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN), who works on issues of human trafficking in Africa releases the following statement:

  • “The trafficking of persons is evil and must be stopped. Since this evil is so widespread and traffickers have extensive networks, it is vital that we educate and empower people on the ground, individuals, communities, governments, and police to work together and root it out.
  • “God calls us to act when we see injustice. As Africans, it is our duty to be the protectors of our children, to protect our families, and protect our communities against trafficking and to provide opportunities for our children’s future.
  • “Until governments around the globe make ending trafficking in persons a top priority and provide the necessary personnel and resources, these crimes will continue to grow.”

Sr. Eucharia Madueke, SNDdeN, Women’s Empowerment Coordinator AFJN who partnered with the Africa Faith and Justice Network – Nigeria on an Education and Advocacy Training against human trafficking said the following:

  • “Many people in Africa are aware that trafficking exists. However, the findings from our report indicate that they are unaware of the realities of trafficking in their own backyard.
  • “Government policies against trafficking need to be upheld and perpetrators must be brought to justice. Victims of human trafficking must be empowered and their voice heard.
  • “In Africa, it is difficult because people are trafficked across and within their native states and abroad under the false promise of a better life for them and their families. Victims often use their families few resources to afford pay their way in to these ‘opportunities’. If they are rescued, they return home with nothing and they are too scared to come out to talk or confront their traffickers who are often trusted members of their families or communities for fear of reprisal actions.
  • “Africa governments need to take back their lands and create economic opportunities to prevent migration that makes women and children vulnerable to traffickers. Many of the victim-survivors of trafficking lack skills and job opportunities at home, leaving them with little choice.”

Read current media coverage about the AFJN’s work ending human trafficking in Nigeria:

Read the United Nations’ “Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2020”.