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General News of Saturday, 8 June 2019


Human trafficking: Commonwealth MPs participate in football match to raise awareness

Parliamentarians from across the Commonwealth will join together to play a football match that will shine a light on the issue of human trafficking.

The match comes off in Accra on Wednesday and will involve representatives from Ghana, Nigeria, Namibia, Uganda, Kenya and the UK.

The parliamentarians are in Accra to participate in a workshop organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK), in partnership with the Parliament of Ghana, that is exploring the role of MPs in leading the fight against human trafficking and forced labour.

The workshop is an opportunity for lawmakers to exchange ideas around their role in gathering evidence and research; scrutinising anti-trafficking policy and legislation; and oversight of the implementation of anti-trafficking laws.

Those in attendance are at the forefront of strengthening legislation and raising awareness of these issues in their

UK MP, Darren Jones, stated ahead of the workshop that “Since becoming an MP, I have seen cases of modern slavery, human trafficking and forced labour in my own constituency and it is important that we prioritise this issue at a local, national and international level.

“Workshops like this can help ensure we are learning and sharing ideas between countries that will help protect the citizens we represent from exploitation.”

The workshop will also cover the issue of ‘football trafficking’, which has become an increasing form of exploitation in the last decade. The phenomenon occurs when young Africans living in poverty see football as a vehicle out of their hardship and are subsequently tricked by false agents pretending to have links to Europe’s elite clubs.

These false agents coerce the victims into human trafficking, child exploitation, fraud and forced labour. It is estimated that around 15,000 players are trafficked to Europe annually under these false pretences.

To raise awareness of this form of trafficking as well as other forms of exploitation, the MPs will participate in a match with local CSOs, officials, diplomats and public figures.

Nigerian parliamentarian, Professor Mojeed Alabi MP, said, "As a widely acclaimed sport, football breaks barriers and unites the world. However, the love of football and the glitz and glamour around it is being used to entrap and exploit the young ones and subject them to some form of servitude or the other.