Nigerian and Zambian students have unanimously called for the empowerment of women as one of the ways of ending modern day slavery where girls are the target. ‘When poverty is eradicated amongst women, they would be less vulnerable’, they explained during an interactive video conference.
The interaction through WebEx connection between the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos and UNIC Lusaka, was facilitated by the United Nations (UN) Department of Public Information (DPI), New York, as a prelude to the observance of the International Day of Remembrance of the victims of Slavery and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade which comes up on Wednesday 25 March 2015.
Discussing the 2015 theme, ‘Women and Slavery’, the students emphasized the need for governments across the world to strengthen anti-slavery agencies as well as regulatory bodies in charge of labour force, paying attention to workers’ welfare and safety in work places.
The students identified human trafficking, abduction of girls, forced labour, child labour, forced marriage, among others, as examples of modern day slavery.
During her intervention, the Chief of Programme Support Section, Information Centres Services, DPI, New York, Ms Danielle Loff, told the students that modern day slavery was not peculiar to Nigeria, Zambia or the African continent, but also happened in other continents of the world. She expressed her delight that through the discussion, the students were better informed about those things that could lead to their enslavement and therefore would be on guard when confronted with such a situation.
Earlier, the Public Information Officer for the Programme Support Section, , DPI, New York, and the Desk Officer for UN Information Centres/Services/Offices in Africa, Europe and the Arab states, Mr Newton Kanhema, welcomed the students from both countries and initiated talk on UN@70 shortly before the commencement of the session on ‘Women and Slavery’.
The session, moderated jointly by the National Information Officer, UNIC Lagos, Oluseyi Soremekun and his counterpart in UNIC Lusaka, Charles Nonde, was attended by selected students from Intesida Schools, Alagbado Lagos and Southfield Academy, Bariga Lagos.
Last year, similar WebEx session was organized by the DPI New York headquarters during which UNIC Lagos was paired with UNIC Harare as part of activities to mark the International Day of Remembrance of the victims of Slavery and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.