Rebecca Sambo, commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Plateau state.

By M. Peter, Jos

Women in Plateau state have concerns over rising cases of human trafficking involving young girls, child abandonment, sexual abuse, drug dependency, cultism and other emerging vices in the state.

The women urgent need for relevant stakeholders to intervene and curb the trend.

Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development in Plateau state, Rebecca Sambo, expressed worry over the development.

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Sambo said she is working to scale up advocacy and sensitisation of key stakeholders to acquire a rescue centre for survivors of violence so that they can be rehabilitated.

She frowned at the recurring herders/farmers conflicts in some parts of the state, a situation she noted has taken women off their means of livelihood, leaving them vulnerable to all forms of exploitation.

The commissioner lauded Plateau state for being the first in the North to gazette the Child Rights Law the first in Northern Nigeria and the second state in Nigeria to gazette the Gender and Equal Opportunity Law, noting that the laws will help in prosecution of violators of the rights of the vulnerable.

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Speaking in her office in Jos while marking this year’s international women day, Sambo blamed poverty for increased in child abandonment, saying that her team will “increase level of lobbying for inclusion of women in all areas of development/participation.”

The commissioner said already, gender issues have been mainstreamed in the state budget and rural women, especially widows are being trained and empowered to be self-reliant, support their children and curb the trend of human trafficking.

The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Hassana Ayika, said violent conflicts and displacement were fuelling child trafficking in the state.

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She lamented that women out of desperation give out their young girls to those who abuse them, stressing.

“We have been supporting women to enable them stay with their children, a mother once trafficked her three years old daughter, we need to protect the parents to curb the trend of trafficking in the state”, Ayike said.