THE 300 PROJECT

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300 is a project focused on combatting the trafficking of young women and girl children in Africa and across the world. Starting in Nigeria then covering the scope of other countries across the world, the project aims to break a world record by shooting a whopping 300 models at the same time to raise awareness about the prevalent issue. Given the ongoing issue with human trafficking across the world, this project serves not only as a record breaker but fuel to a conversation and thousands of voices that need to be heard.

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The project is a joint partnership between Paul Ukonu Projects and the We Rise Initiative. Paul Ukonu Projects is a Nigerian platform focused on sustainable development and the empowerment of oppressed peoples nationwide. Founded by Paul Ukonu, the initiative uses photography as a form of expression, standing against prevalent and oppressive issues that are not spoken of enough. The We Rise Initiative on the other hand is an African Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), focused on empowering young women and girls to rise above twenty-first century oppression and the stigmatization of feminism. The organization was founded by Laila Johnson-Salami and Tracy Aryee-Quao in 2015 and has since been motivated towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly gender equality, quality education, good jobs and economic growth. The two platforms coming together is a force that is capable of combatting the ongoing sex trafficking in persons through progressive campaigns, the creation or effective policies and encouraging public figures to pressurize the Nigerian government in particular to enforce stronger laws to end this heinous act.

 

FACTS ON GIRL TRAFFICKING

*All information is according to the United Nations Global Report on Trafficking in Persons*

 

  • The most common form of human trafficking (79%) is sexual exploitation
  • The most second common form of human trafficking is forced labour (18%)
  • Worldwide, almost 20% of all trafficking victims are children, however, in some parts of Africa children are the majority with up to 100% of victims being children in some West African states
  • Most exploitation takes place close to home with data showing that intra-regional and domestic trafficking are major forms of trafficking in persons
  • The United Nations Protocol against Trafficking in Persons was introduced in 2003 as the foremost international agreement in this area. The number of states implementing the protocol has more than doubled in the past few years from 54 to 125 out of the 155 states covered
  • The specific offence of trafficking in persons was established in Nigeria in 2003 and a national action plan on trafficking in persons was adopted in 2006 (Institutional Framework)
  • Nigeria has three different specified police units dealing with trafficking in persons. The first is the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), who are responsible for investigation, enforcement cooperation and coordination, and the legal department of the agency has skills in the prosecution of human trafficking cases (Criminal Justice Response)
  • In 2006, just 23 people were prosecuted for trafficking in persons in Nigeria
  • In 2008, just 24 people were convicted for trafficking in persons in Nigeria

 

Additional statistics:

 

  • Recent data shows that recently, 37,000 illegal immigrants were arrested in Europe and 15,000 of them are from Edo and Delta States. It is no new news that the trafficking circle in Benin, Edo, is one of the most worrying global problems today. The circle is difficult to stop as it is run by a powerful cartel both in Nigeria and abroad (Italy specifically). This illicit trade became prevalent in the early 90s when Edo indigenes, particularly women, started migrating to Italy for greener pastures and became engaged with prostitution. (Via The Vanguard, Horror of Human Trafficking in Edo, 2017)
  • The World Bank has put $76 million into the Decentralized Community-Driven Services Project (PSDCC), which covers all 77 communes in Benin and aims to strengthen human capital and sustainable development to discourage families from encouraging or forcing their daughters into the illicit trade
  • As of September 2017, the PSDCC had directly benefitted 310,349 beneficiaries, of whom 48.18% are women and generated 1.5 million jobs (Via World Bank, 2017)
  • Most identified victims of the trafficking cartel in Benin, one of Nigeria’s neighbouring countries, are Beninese Girls, subjected to domestic servitude or sex trafficking (US State Govt, 2016)

 

PROJECT AIMS

 

  • Fuel the conversation: get Nigeria’s population and the global consensus speaking about and educating themselves on the prevalence of trafficking of the girl child today
  • Enact legislation to criminalise all forms of trafficking consistent with the 2000 UN TIP Protocol
  • Improve efforts to collect law enforcement data on trafficking offenses and make it available to other government agencies and the public, creating an international anti-trafficking awareness campaign that will live on beyond The 300 Project
  • Reduce the prevalence of cross-border trafficking within the ECOWAS

 

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