Home Sports 2023 Ladies In Sports Conference Focuses On Fight Against Human Trafficking

2023 Ladies In Sports Conference Focuses On Fight Against Human Trafficking

A one-day conference at the Marriott Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos, held on Friday the 16th of June 2023 discussed and agreed on collaborative modalities to tackle human trafficking and modern slavery in Sports.

The event was hosted by Ladies In Sports, a Nigerian based foundation, which brought together personalities from all works of life to design efforts to end this human right violation.

“Expanding the fight against human trafficking” was the topic of the next panel of the conference moderated by Dr. May Ikeora, a human rights and women empowerment advocate.

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During the session, speakers Laurent De Boeck – Chief of Mission of International Organization for Migration (IOM) to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Ojonuka Ajuda, Head of Women’s Football at Integral pointed out that human trafficking in sports does not only affect men.

Ajuda revealed that her department has received complaints from some women who have been exploited and abandoned in another country.

“Women find it difficult to speak about it” She added, while emphasising on the need to create awareness.

“Women’s sport is still developing, so women athletes are already in a vulnerable position and so fake agents want to prey on them.”

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De Boeck added that even men are afraid to speak up, but he urged victims to have the courage. The IOM provides protection and assistance to victims of trafficking, ensuring freedom and a chance at a new life. He said that the social pressure from families and communities also makes some athletes desperate. Then when things go south the victims blame themselves.

The panellists urged sports stakeholders to be intentional about ensuring that athletes have a safe environment to thrive, starting from the grassroots. They also emphasised on the education of the athletes and their parents. “They should attend conferences like this, and there is a lot of information online, FIFA’s regulations and policies are publicly accessible,” Ajuda advised.

LIS Founder Tega Onojaife expressed immense gratitude to everyone who graced the 7th LIS Conference as well as the sponsors that contributed to making the event a reality.

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