The Directorate of the New Apostolic Center for Development announced on Tuesday that 1,079 persons reported cases of human trafficking and gender-based violence to the Edo State Sexual Assault Referral Center for justice.
Victor Oriakhi, a board member of the NGO, said the reported cases were a result of the organisation’s implementation of the European Union-funded Transformative Agents project in the state.
The council member said some of the victims knew the center through a radio show sponsored by the NCD.
As he explained, the project aims to raise awareness about the dangers of human trafficking and to improve the state’s response to sexual and gender-based violence.
As Oriakhi confirmed, 600 victims of the social threat came to the center before the program was launched in June. The figure, according to him, rose to 1,079 as of November 24.
Oriakhi disclosed that since June, the NCD has handled two cases, one of which was referred to the Vivian Center and the other to the Edo State Ministry of Justice.
According to him, NCD training and extensive public awareness activities have resulted in more citizens accessing the Edo State Sexual Referral Center (Vivian Center) to report cases of gender-based violence.
Records obtained from the Vivian Center showed that the center registered more cases between June and November 2022 when the NCD implemented the Prevention of Human Trafficking and Response to Gender-Based Violence program in the state.
“When the project started in June 2022, the center received around 600 cases from the beginning.
But by November 24, 2022, the number of cases reported to the center had risen to 1,079, and some of the victims confirmed that they knew about the center from the NCD-sponsored radio show,” he said.
He said the European Union-funded program was implemented by the British Council in Nigeria, adding that the anti-trafficking and gender-based violence response messages reached millions of people in Edo State and other parts of the world.
The NCD board member also explained that the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons also confirmed that their office was receiving more cases every day due to increased awareness.