The daughter of the founder of Church of God Mission, Late Archbishop Benson Idahosa, Ruth Benson-ldahosa has bagged a special award for an anti-human trafficking campaign in the United States of America.
At the award presentation ceremony, the State Department, Secretary of State Antony Blinken unveiled the release of the 2023 trafficking persons report.
Secretary Blinken emphasised the United States’ unwavering commitment to combating human trafficking, considering it a violation of human rights and personal autonomy.
With over 27 million people still denied their basic rights, the Secretary declared that the United States stands united with others in the pursuit of ending this heinous crime.
The event also served as an occasion to honor the 2023 Tip Report Heroes, recognizing their exceptional contributions to the fight against human trafficking.
Among the distinguished recipients was Benson-Idahosa from Nigeria. Her organisation, Pathfinders, focuses on empowering survivors of sex trafficking through transformative programmes that address the root causes of exploitation.
Her advocacy efforts have also been instrumental in improving anti-trafficking policies and legislation in Nigeria.Expressing gratitude for the recognition, Benson-Idahosa acknowledged the collective efforts of countless individuals who tirelessly work for justice and reconciliation.
She shared the tragic story of Faith, a Nigerian woman trafficked and subjected to the horrors of the European sex industry until her untimely death, nothing that Faith’s ordeal represents the harsh reality faced by thousands of victims while highlighting the urgent need for action.
“It is an honour to be one of the recipients of this award. It will spur me to do more through my organisation
“I urged world leaders to prioritize reconciliation and adopt a more integrated, intersectional, and interdependent approach in the fight against trafficking.
“I am calling for a shift in consciousness that values the preservation of interests, rights, and dignity for all individuals. I also emphasise the importance of amplifying the voices of survivors and local communities,” she noted.
The Nigerian activist urged governments to address systemic failures and prioritize the well-being of people over profit.
She stressed the need to invite those who have been traditionally excluded to participate in decision-making processes, ensuring that those most impacted by trafficking have their voices heard. She also emphasized the need for compassion, empathy, and long-term commitments to structural transformation.She added, “I encourage individuals to take small daily actions that promote love, kindness, and the collective good, as these efforts contribute to reconciling a world plagued by injustice.”