…Gov Godwin Obaseki commends recipient
By Simeon OSAJIE
The daughter of Archbishop of Church of God Mission International, Ruth Benson-ldahosa has bagged a Special Award for Anti Human Trafficking Campaign in the United States of America (USA).
At the award presentation ceremony, the State Department, Secretary of State, Antony Blinken unveiled the release of the 2023 Trafficking Persons Report. This comprehensive report accesses 188 countries and territories, including the United States, providing an objective evaluation of their efforts in preventing and addressing human trafficking.
The primary goal of the report is to highlight successful anti-trafficking initiatives, identify areas for improvement, and ultimately eradicate trafficking worldwide.
Secretary Blinken emphasized the United States’ unwavering commitment to combating human trafficking, considering it a violation of human rights and personal autonomy.
With over 27 million people still denied their basic rights, the Secretary declared that the United States stands united with others in the pursuit of ending this heinous crime. The event also served as an occasion to honour the 2023 Tip Report Heroes, recognizing their exceptional contributions in the fight against human trafficking.
Among the distinguished recipients was Ruth Evon Benson-Idahosa from Nigeria. Her organization, Pathfinders, focuses on empowering survivors of sex trafficking through transformative programs that address the root causes of exploitation. Ruth Evon Benson-Idahosa’s advocacy efforts have also been instrumental in improving anti-trafficking policies and legislation in Nigeria.
Expressing gratitude for the recognition, Ruth Evon Benson-Idahosa acknowledged the collective efforts of countless individuals who tirelessly work for justice and reconciliation. She shared the tragic story of Faith; a Nigerian woman trafficked and subjected to the horrors of the European sex industry until her untimely death. Faith’s ordeal represents the harsh reality faced by thousands of victims, highlighting the urgent need for action.
She urged world leaders to prioritize reconciliation and adopt a more integrated, intersectional, and interdependent approach in the fight against trafficking. She called for a shift in consciousness that values the preservation of interests, rights and dignity for all individuals emphasizing the importance of amplifying the voices of survivors and local communities.
The Nigerian activist urged governments to address systemic failures and prioritize the well-being of people over profit. She stressed the necessity of inviting those who have been traditionally excluded to participate in decision-making processes, ensuring that those most impacted by trafficking have their voices heard. She emphasized the need for compassion, empathy, and long-term commitments to structural transformation.
On a personal level, Ruth Benson-Idahosa encouraged individuals to take small daily actions that promote love, kindness, and the collective good, as these efforts contribute to reconciling a world plagued by injustice.
Quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr., Ruth Evon Benson-Idahosa concluded by urging everyone to maintain audacious faith in humanity’s future and strive for a world that upholds our collective values.
The event celebrated the release of the 2023 Trafficking Persons Report and honored individuals like Ruth Evon Benson-Idahosa for their significant contributions to combating human trafficking. It emphasized the need for global collaboration, compassion, and long-term commitment to eliminate trafficking and restore the dignity of survivors.
In a related development, Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has sent a message of congratulations to the Founder of Pathfinders Justice Initiative and Hub of Economic Resources For Survisors Africa, Ruth Evon Benson-Idahosa for the meritorious Award.
In a statement in Benin City, Governor Obaseki hailed the courageous and Impactful work of Ruth Benson-Idahosa, applauding her resolve, resilience and dedication to advancing the campaign against sex trafficking in Nigeria.
According to him “l congratulates you, Ruth Evon Benson-Idahosa on the recognition by the United State Government for your immense work in the fight against sex trafficking in Nigeria. I salute your concerted efforts through the Pathfinders Justice Initiative and Hub of Economic Resources For Survivors Africa in contributing to the global charge to end sex trafficking. This includes the provision of protection and prevention services to more than 3,000 women and girls. We are proud of the excellent work you have done and celebrate your hard work and determination in ensuring a better life for young people across the world”.
Governor Godwin Obaseki noted that Ruth Evon Benson-Idahosa would serve as a role model to youths in Edo State and would continue to advance the state government’s campaign against human trafficking.