The African Tourism and Development Organization (ATO) is planning a caravan aimed at raising a cross-border awareness against child-trafficking.
The caravan, which starts on 1 December, will travel through Gambia, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria where it will end in Abuja.
It will follow a four-day orientation and training of participants, volunteers and students on the road.
With the caravan not passing through them, participants from Sierra Leone and Guinea will join it in Gambia while those from Liberia will join the rest in Cote D’Ivoire.
On arrival in Nigeria, the cyclist’s association, two each from participating countries, will lead the caravan to Abuja, Nigeria where they would be received by the ECOWAS executive secretary, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas.
Speaking to Awoko in Banjul after the inaugural first sub-Sahara Africa inter-agency training summit, the ATO Director, Ibiduni Duni Jones said the aim of the caravan was to strengthen the initiated multilateral cooperation project for a safe return and a recovery-building capacity, creating networks and formulating a protocol for repatriation and rehabilitation for African victims through short and long-term effective projects.
These projects, she said would focus on awareness raising, multi-media education, entrepreneurship, agriculture, community development, and cultural preservation, while at the same time “to effectively counteract trafficking in human beings especially women, children and youths as stated in the United Nations 2000 convention against trafficking in human beings.” Jones said the event would be to raise funds for an offshore trust fund, with a five-member board of trustees to ensure “transparency, victim assistance and community and economic development and investment.”