Media network established to combat human trafficking in West Africa

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - An ECOWAS-organised stakeholders meeting has established a Media Network for combating Trafficking in Persons and Child Protection in West Africa (REMSET:CEDAO), with the ECOWAS Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Unit to serve as the Secretariat of the Network.  

PANA reported Thursday that the network was established at the three-day meeting which has just rounded off at the ECOWAS Commission headquarters in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

The meeting also called on ECOWAS member states and other stakeholders to urgently ensure the ratification, domestication and implementation of all international instruments relating to the combat of human trafficking and child protection in the region.

A 12-point Communiqué issued by the meeting said the participants agreed that the Regional Network will be reproduced in all member states as National Networks and shall collaborate with all relevant agencies and organisations to achieve the objectives of combating trafficking in persons and ensuring protection of children.

The meeting acknowledged the human security implications of trafficking in persons and violations of the rights of children, and highlighted the causative factors of the vices, as well as “the linkage of these factors to development and governance and re-affirmed the mandate of the media as a watchdog and minder of the conscience of society.”

It called on the ECOWAS Commission to facilitate the full establishment of the Network and adoption of a Regional Media and Communication Strategy on the combat of Human Trafficking and for Child Protection.  

The meeting also called for concerted capacity building for the media in effectively reporting and providing issues-based leadership in combating human trafficking and ensuring effective child protection efforts, and also resolved that the Network should take full advantage of information technologies to ensure effective connectivity of its members and sustained flow of information.

According to the communique, organisations within the Network should work closely with National Task forces in charge of combating trafficking in persons and institutions responsible for child protection and the eradication of child labour in all member states.

It further noted that the Network shall provide a broad-based platform for knowledge sharing and information exchanges within the media and as a connection to civil society and other actors in combating trafficking in persons and child protection.  

The meeting said the orientation of the Network shall encompass reporting of news around the issues of human trafficking and child protection and shall extend to advocacy and knowledge management, adding that the Network shall develop and sustain a common information repository which shall be accessible to its members and to actors beyond the network.

The meeting agreed that institutions within the Network shall strive to provide leadership in driving social change in relation to human trafficking and child protection and shall develop capacities for advocacy to policy makers.

The meeting was attended by journalists from the print and electronic media with national and regional outreach, as well as representatives of advocacy groups and experts in human trafficking and child protection.

Speaking at the opening, ECOWAS Commissioner for Humanitarian Development and Gender Adrienne Diop, who was represented by the Director of Humanitarian and Social Affairs, Dr. Daniel Eklu, called on media organisations and journalists in the region to support efforts by the ECOWAS Commission at eradicating human trafficking and strengthening child protection measures.
-0- PANA SEG 31Oct2013

31 october 2013 10:12:47

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