Barely a month ago, Nigerians and the world at large were shocked when the facts emerged of a 30 year old Nigerian woman whose data page of her international passport was posted in a Facebook page in Lebanon,alleging her availability ‘for sale’ by her supposed guardian in the middle eastern country of Lebanon.
She was rescued days later amidst the media outcry condemning the act, as the perpetrator Mr.Wael Jerro , the man thought to be responsible for the advertisement was arrested for questioning by the Lebanese authorities.
Jerro posted the passport of the victim on the “Buy and Sell in Lebanon” Facebook group, according to screenshots. “Domestic worker from Nigeria for sale with new legal documents. She’s 30-years-old, she’s very active and very clean. Price: $1,000,” he wrote in Arabic. The message drew an angry response before reportedly being deleted.
It seems that incident has beamed a searchlight on such activities in Lebanon,as about 50 more Nigerian women suspected to have been trafficked to the nation was among the 69 people the federal govt of Nigeria evacuated from the nation, as confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, made this development known on his Twitter handle , noting that the evacuees arrived safely, he also gave credit of the successful evacuation process to the Lebanese govt and the Lebanese community in Nigeria.
Abuse of migrant workers is widespread across Lebanon under the kafala system, which binds workers to employees and gives them few rights. It is estimated that two workers die per week, often through suicide or while attempting to escape.
In March, the body of 23-year-old Ghanaian woman was discovered days after she made a desperate plea for help in social media posts. Police are investigating it as a suicide.
The Federal Government had successfully evacuated Nigerians from the United Arab Emirates (265), United Kingdom (253) and the United States of America (160).
It is apparent to human right watchers that though the Covid-19 pandemic despite halted global activities for a while in the world, including inter border movement, it didn’t stop the acts associated to trafficking, as those enslaved in brothels and illicit labour sites were still in bondage in their respective camps throughout the lockdown.
Modern day slavery is one the most heinous crimes being perpetrated on earth today, and we all need to collectively rise up against the injustice by consistently drawing attention to this crime, and sensitizing the public on how not to fall for the antics of this wicked traffickers.