The Australian Government through its High Commission in Nigeria has collaborated with an NGO, MeCAHT to tackle gender inequality to facilitate girl-child protection.
The Australian Charge d’Affaires and acting High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms Leann Johnston, made this known at the premiere of a film titled: ‘‘My Story’’.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 30-minute film is all about human trafficking, early child marriage and labour.
Johnston described the project as a great one and would be beneficial to rural communities in Nigeria.
She said: “Nigeria has a high percentage of young girls, who are denied their future through poverty and gender inequality,” adding that they are forced into marriages.
Johnston added: “We also provide funding to the International Organisation for Migration, UNHCR, UNICEF as well to educate the community, the girls themselves and also provide support to survivors.
“It is a great project proposal where they will take the film out to rural communities and show the story. So, we are very happy to be part of the project.
“We have provided support to allow them have the film in a format that is easy to take out to local villages where they can set up, to film and invite the communities to come in and watch the film.”
According to Johnston support to MeCAHT will help make that possible.
“The rate of trafficking is a scourge that affects huge parts of the world. It is a tragedy.
“Such a high percentage of young girls here who are denied their futures and through poverty, through gender inequality, are forced into these marriages or into a situation that denies them a future.’
She stated that the High Commission provides funding in order to educate the community and provide support to the survivors and other vulnerables in the community.
Earlier, Chairman, House Committee on Friendship Group Australia, Rep. Mohammed Bassi said child trafficking was not only about forced marriages but there were so many other habits attached to it.
“Child trafficking is not only about forced marriage, we know some do it for the purpose of organ harvest.
“There is the need for Nigerians to have the opportunity of watching to see and having an idea of what is happening in the society,” he said.
The International Director, MeCAHT, Ann Abok, said human trafficking needed to be dealt with through structural approache.
Abok said the film making was one of the fastest mediums used to pass such information globally to different communities without having to travel to any country to air it.
She said: “The beauty of making a film is that your film can go to places that you cannot even go.
“There was a time we were in Switzerland and we discovered the Police were talking about using one of our films to train the Swiss Police because they have an enormous number of girls from Nigeria.
“So, this medium really has helped us to reach out of the shores of our country to get our girls and our boys back into the country.
“Like I said earlier, human trafficking is complex. We need a more structural approach.”