Ugo Nosiri, Owerri.
A professor of public law and the chairperson Sexual Assaults Referral Network, Professor Joy Ezilo, said about 736 million women have been subjected to sexual and gender based violence in the world.
Professor Ezilo made the assertion while speaking on Ikengaonline September 2023 town hall meeting via zoom.
Speaking on the topic, “The forgotten victims: Combating human trafficking, sexual assaults and gender based violence in the South-East,” the gender based advocate noted that the menace does not exist only in the Eastern region, but globally.
She defined Human Trafficking, a gender based violence, as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of people through force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them for profit.
Professor Ezilo identified insecurity, unemployment, inequality, push and pull systems and restrictive migration policies as some of the reasons behind trafficking in person thrive in the country.
She maintained that most victims of trafficking were deceived into believing that they’d be given a better life only to be met with a life of regret.
Professor Ezilo decried the increasing cases of baby factories, illegal adoptions and sales of babies in the South-East and blamed it on the unacceptable attitude of the Igbos to adoption.
She noted that although laws exist against these vices, governments at all levels need to ensure effective implementation of the laws and prosecution of offenders.
She also suggested sensitisation of the public, tailoring education towards entrepreneurship, capacity training for security operatives and synergy between security outfits to combat this ugly menace.
She therefore called on the government to provide financial support, shelter, proper counselling and legal reforms for victims of gender based violence.