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Poverty not an excuse for human trafficking — Cardinal Onaiyekan

His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, says that neither poverty nor any form of hardship is an acceptable excuse for Nigerians to engage in human trafficking.

Onaiyekan made the assertion on Wednesday in Abuja during the First Africa Regional Conference of the Santa Marta Group in Collaboration with the Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria (CCFN).

The two-day conference has the theme: “Church and State Working Together to Restore Dignity to Trafficked Persons”.

According to Onaiyekan, all hands must be on deck to combat the worrisome degree of trafficking, especially in humans, as it has to do with the dignity of a person.

He said the first problem in human trafficking was not poverty, because if it was poverty then, “how come all the victims that ended up being trafficked paid to be trafficked?”

According to him, these victims either pay from their own savings or their families put this money together with the expectation that when this particular son/daughter gets to Europe, he/she will pull them out of poverty.

“This kind of thing happens in Nigeria and maybe, if one or two cases have succeeded, others emulate the same process.

“But, the reality is that in each success story of a young man/lady who goes abroad and comes back to ride a big car here at home, there are also hundreds of others left behind there who will never come back home.

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