Human Trafficking: JIFORM writes African Union, seeks end to Kafala system


The Journalists International Forum for Migration (JIFORM) has written the African Union (AU) on the need to strengthen bilateral agreement with the Middle East authorities with the intention of abolishing women slavery smuggled under the Kafala system through which many citizens of the continent had been trapped through several human trafficking gimmicks for years.

Kafala is a system used to monitor migrant laborers, working primarily in the construction and domestic sectors in Gulf Cooperation Council member which was erroneously bought into by some African countries several years ago.

In a letter on Monday signed by JIFORM President, Ajibola Abayomi, addressed to the African Union Committee on Labour and Migration which has Her Excellency, Dr. A. K. Princess Ocansey, a Ghanaian as member, he reinstated the desire of the global media body to initiate an African media summit on migration at the Headquarters of AU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by February 2021.

Ajibola stated that: “Furtherance to our desire to rid the continent of human trafficking, child/women labour and consolidate on advocacy against crises leading to the internal displacement of citizens in nations, we have hereby resolved to ensure that Kafala and other inhumane treatments against Africans are abolished through consistent public engagements.”

JIFORM urged the AU Committee to collaborate with the body on training for its members across different countries in Africa especially in Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana, Zambia, Congo Brazzaville, Senegal, Ethiopia among others on migration issues at intervals.

“In relation to this, we are proposing to hold the African Media Summit on Migration with the aim to further concretise the bilateral relationship between the Africa Union/nations and the Middle East and other Arab nations on eradication of Kafala era. This summit is to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in February 2021 to be followed up with another one in July in Dubai.

“The event among other things, will gather prominent stakeholders on migration issues both within and outside Africa to provide perspective towards addressing the complex challenges in the field and will also seek to confer honors on you and other top personalities leading migration advocacy.

“To achieve these, we are quite aware of the challenges of sourcing logs tics, however, we are convinced that with enough political will and with the backing of your esteemed office, all these are achievable”, he said.

Photo: Member, African Union Committee on Labour and Migration, Her Excellency, Dr. A. K. Princess Ocansey.

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