Abuja - The Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Commission has called on media in the region to support its efforts at eradicating human trafficking and strengthening child protection measures.
“The roles of the media include agenda setting, holding public office holders accountable, advocacy, mobilization of the society and promoting alliances to achieve the desired results in these important areas,” the ECOWAS Commissioner for Humanitarian Development and Gender, Dr Adrienne Diop said in Abuja on at the opening of a workshop for the development of a Media and Communication Network and Strategy for Combating Trafficking in Persons and Child Protection.
Diop underlined the leadership role the media could play in articulating a common vision for our children and other vulnerable persons and mobilizing the state and society towards securing improvements in the quality of life of our citizens.
She said the decision of the Commission to organize the workshop illustrated the critical importance of the Press in dealing with development issues and moving the region forward into an age of development, peace and prosperity.
The Commissioner enumerated the initiatives taken by the Commission in dealing with human trafficking and child protection over the years.
These have been done through various instruments involving Member States as well as a 2006 Joint Action Plan between ECOWAS and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) as well as the Multilateral Cooperation Agreement on Combating of Human Trafficking between West and Central Africa.
In 2010, the Commission also adopted a policy on Protection and Assistance to Victims of Human Trafficking and Guidelines for Protection, as well as for Support and Assistance to Witnesses in the same year.
ECOWAS also has a Child Policy dealing with child protection.
Child protection elements have been integrated into the regional Employment Policy while the Child Labour Regional Action Plan is under implementation.
– CAJ News