Tuesday, January 24, 2006

WOTCLEF : Restoring Human Dignity

Chief Mrs. Amina Titi Atiku Abubakar is the wife of the Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar. But Mrs. Abubakar does more than just attend state dinners and show up at photo ops. She is a woman of action and a woman with a mission. And one of her missions is the Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF).

According to WOTCLEF's website its work is "geared towards the eradication of modern slavery the victims of which are women and children;" and its aim is to "Restore Human Dignity in those who have had theirs forcibly taken away from them while enlightening others about the dangers that lurk around them and in our societies today." And they believe that when this is accomplished then these victims can "be better human beings as well as assets to our communities."

Founded in 1999 by Mrs. Amina Titi Atiku Abubakar, The Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation is headed by an Executive Board of Trustees and has its headquarter in Abuja. Nigeria. WOTCLEF is also a registered and incorporated Trusteeship under Nigerian Law with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

In its Mission Statement WOTCLEF says that it is a "frontline non-governmental Organisation with the avowed responsibility of building community awareness and action against abuse of the rights of women and children and the foremost non-governmental alternative to development." And its areas of focus are:
o Human Trafficking
o Child Labour
o Violent Abuses of Women and Children
o Youth and Child Development
o Community Development
o Integrated Health and Education (including HIV/AIDS)

This Focus is intended to achieve the following objectives:
o To place the African dimension of Trafficking and Child labour on the global agenda for special attention and action
o To mobilize and motivate stakeholders at all levels to respond to the challenges posed by trafficking, Child labour and violent abuses of the rights of Women and Children
o To generate, organize and disseminate critical data and up to date information about trafficking and Child labour.
o To produce and public materials towards sensitization of the local, regional and global public about the problem.
o To rescue, rehabilitate and reintegrate victims into their communities in accordance with their best interests.
o To network and collaborate with concerned parties worldwide towards eradication of trafficking, Child labour and violent abuses of Women's and Children's rights.
o To establish the WOTCLEF Rehabilitation and Special Purpose Centre in Abuja, Nigeria with Africa and worldwide affiliations.
o To establish special schools programmes for its 'catch them young' scheme.
o To work with relevant partners and concerned parities for the enactment and enforcement of appropriate legislation against trafficking, Child labour and violent abuses of the rights of Women and Children.

WOTCLEF operates through a team of staff members and volunteers at its head office in addition to WOTCLEF Clubs in States throughout the federation and internationally. The staff, volunteers and club members have expertise in the fields of:
Child labour
Child abuse and
Issues of violence against Women

Additionally they have expertise in:
Integrated health education
Youth and community development and are
Available for project and consultation assignments.

It is through the following strategies that WOTCLF accomplishes its mission:

o Legal Advocacy covers legal representation of victims of these abuses. >>Click here to know more about the Anti-Trafficking Act!
o Legislative Advocacy deals with sensitization of policy makers and stimulating the adoption of best practices into policy in governmental and non- governmental fields.
o Policy Advocacy deals with sensitization of policy makers and stimulating the adoption of best practices into policy and both governmental and on- governmental fields.
o Advocacy meetings, workshops etc for opinion leaders,
o NGOs, professionals and the media.
o Sensitization of the public, especially segments of the population at risk.
o Training in aspects of development and community involvements in the protection of the rights of women and children.
o Training of trainers
o Training towards the promotion of health and prevention in the fields of sexual health and HIV/AIDS
o Youth-friendly services.
o Advocacy skills training with a focus on partnership between civil society and governmental agencies.

Rehabilitation and Counseling
o Counseling of victims of trafficking, Child labour and violent abuses agianst Women and Children.
o Rehabilitation and skills acquisition training of victims of these abuses.

Technical Assistance and Cooperation
o Programme and project development in areas with incidences of trafficking, child labour, etc.
o Partnership with communities through WOTCLEF Clubs, Vanguards etc.
o The building and sustenance of viable networks.
o Auditing and quality assurance of programmes and projects.
o Feasibility studies
o Organisation of workshops and other opportunities to exchange experiences and develop new approaches towards protection of Women and Children's rights.

Research and Publishing
o Assembling, packaging and delivery of the best thinking and practice concerning WOTCLEF's focus areas.
o Policy research and public discourse on areas of WOTCEF concern.
o On-line services with a focus on trafficking, Child labour and violent abuses of the rights of Women and Children.

The Youth Programme
"The youth programme consists of school clubs and youth bodies which focus on life skills training for the youth, girls child empowerment and the development of a new youth culture of service encompassing the building of competence, confidence, character, connections and contribution."

Institutional Collaboration
"WOTCLEF cooperates with a number of local and international bodies including the ILO/IPEC, UNICEF, IOM, NAPTIP, the National Council of Women's' Societies and a host of others. Also, WOTCLEF works with local law enforcement authorities to strengthen institutional capacity for dealing with trafficking and child labour. The aim is to promote mutual development of competence and long-term capacity building through joint pilot projects." And

WOTCLEF Networks
"The importance of networks, local national and international cannot be overemphasized and being a part of, building and maintaining such networks is a cardinal aim of WOTCLEF."

Integrated Health And Community Development
"This in summary, covers HIV/AIDS awareness amongst the youth, especially youth out of school and education on child spacing, family planning, adolescent reproductive health and family life education. The methods of achieving these are built into the programmes."

Since 1999 WOTCLEF has initiated and participated in many projects designed to further its goals. Below is a partial listing.

11th October 1999 - National Workshop on Women Trafficking and Child Labour Migration.

9th April 2000 - 1 Day Rehabilitation/Orientation Programme for the Deported Trafficked Persons, 25 of them.

11th April 2000 - Panel Discussion 1 - Day In-House Panel Discussion on Poverty as a factor in causes of Trafficking.

27th April 2000 - Rehabilitation assistance to 2 victims of women trafficking Purpose/Goal: To resettle and empower trafficked persons

10-11th July 2000 - Post Beijing + 5 Workshop.
Theme: Harnessing the Gains of Beijing + 5 for the WOTCLEF Agenda.

10 May 2002 - Graduating ceremony for the first batch of WOTCLEF trained victims of human trafficking. The WOTCLEF-NAPEP grandaunts were also graduated that day.

National Essay Competition - Organised for young girls in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in Nigeria to celebrate the Year 2001 International Women's Day.

October 2003 - Red Card to Child Labour
Theme: A project carried out with financial sponsorship from the ILO aimed at eradicating child labour by top soccer stars and notable dignitaries. The programme was planned to coincide with the 8th All African Games (COJA) which was held in Nigeria from the 4th to the 18th of October 2003.

3rd of December 2003 - Panel Discussion on "Cross Border Trafficking in Women and Children"
Theme: A Panel Discussion on "Cross Border Trafficking in Women and Children", was held as part of the People's Forum at the Commonwealth Head of Governments' Meeting (CHOGM) on the 3rd of December 2003 at the Protea Hotel, Abuja.

10th January 2004 - "Battle of Hope" a partnership project designed to match the Nigerian initiative, commitment and drive towards fighting HIV/AIDS pandemic and Human Trafficking using sports and music with the catalytic strength of international support.

April 24-30, 2004 - AFRICANWOMAN2004 International Conference on African Woman and Gender Development, Abuja - Nigeria.

July 28, 2004 - Workshop on Presentation & Review of HIV/AIDS Teachers Training Manual for Secondary Schools.

On the 12th of October 2005WOTCLEF marked her 6th year anniversary. The occasion was also used to celebrate "WOTCLEF Children of Colour" in which the theme was "Globalization and the Nigerian Child." The unique features of the celebration were the presentations of papers by children on "The Effects of Globalization on The Child in Developing Countries Especially Nigeria" and "The Effects of Trafficking in Persons and Child Labour on The Nigerian Child."

In addition to other aspects of the celebration to mark the occasion, there were dramatic presentations and poetry recitations by children from different parts of the country.

Finally, it needs to be said that WOTCLF has provided some of its resource data on its web site and that data can be found on its Resources & Publications page.

Those resources include:

A Study on Trafficking in Women in East Africa
"A situational analysis including current NGO and Governmental activities, as well as future opportunities, to address trafficking in women and girls in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria."

"Key factors that increase a child's vulnerability to trafficking."

"Executive summary and background based upon plenary deliberations and position papers delivered during africanwoman2004 conference agenda sessions April 26-29, 2004."

(IPEC) - FACTS SHEET - "Education's role in combating child labour."
(IPEC) - FACTS SHEET - "The HIV/AIDS crisis and child labour"
(IPEC) - FACTS SHEET - "Child labour monitoring"
(IPEC) - FACTS SHEET - "Commercial sexual exploitation of children"
(IPEC) - FACTS SHEET - "Child domestic labour"

So, I strongly recommend to you a visit to the web site of Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation .

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