…inaugurate anti-human trafficking vanguard

From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has entered into partnership with the military authorities to educate and sensitized students in its schools across the country on the growing activities of human traffickers, particularly on the digital space.

NAPTIP also confirmed that sensitization clubs have been established in 80 out of 104 Federal Government Colleges across the country to strengthen the campaign against human trafficking.

NAPTIP explained that the engagements with school authorities became necessary following increasing target of younger persons by the human traffickers, hence the need to acquaint the students with necessary knowledge and changing tricks of the human traffickers.

Director General of NAPTIP, Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi, who addressed cross-section of students at Command Day Secondary School, Lungi Barrack, Asokoro, Abuja, during the inauguration of anti-human trafficking and violence against persons
vanguard, explained that many young persons have fallen victim to human trafficking because of ignorance.

She highlighted the dangers of unlimited exposure to social media platforms which the human traffickers often leveraged on to lure and recruit their victims with unrealistic mouth-watering promises and offers that often come in form of scholarships, jobs and other opportunities.

She encourage the students to always be smart and engage their discerning spirit when interacting with known and unknown persons in social media platforms, and also report suspicious actions to NAPTIP for proper investigation and action.

She said: “I don’t mean that you shouldn’t engage in social media activities or aspire for opportunities abroad, but you have to be careful whenever you are online. Be cautious and have limit to the level of information or interaction you engage on in the social media.

“Many people, particularly young people of school age have fallen victims because of ignorance or greed. That shouldn’t happen to you because you have access of quality information that the people that victims of human trafficking never had.

Related News

“Please note that victims of human trafficking are not always poor people as many people believe. People of good and strong financial background fall victim too. You must also know that close family members can initiate or facilitate your being trafficked. So, be careful and report any suspicious actions to your parents and NAPTIP if possible.”

NAPTIP’s Director of Public Enlightenment, Mr. Josiah Emereole, in his presentations, used simple terms to define and explain human trafficking, and also exposed the students to the tricks being used by human traffickers to lure and recruit their victims, particularly online, thus urging the students to always be vigilant and alert regarding activities of suspicious persons online.

He narrated several stories with pictures of students of their ages that have fallen victim of human trafficking, thus encouraging the students to be careful and get acquainted with the sensitization activities of their school’s anti-human trafficking vanguard club for more information on the changing tricks of the human traffickers.

Head of Region, International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), West Africa, Dr. Mojisola Sodeinde, in her remarks, described the initiative in countering trafficking in human beings from the grassroots as laudable.

Dr. Sodeinde who was represented by Adeniyi Bakare, said the initiative was particularly important for ICMPD because it addresses all of the key dimensions that anti-trafficking programme has been tirelessly working on during the last two decades.

Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Faruk Yahaya, who was represented by U A Mammadi, appreciated NAPTIP for the advocacy and sensitization, with assurance that the school will continue the sensitization so the students can be well informed and avoid anything that would expose them to human traffickers.

Members of the school anti-human trafficking club, however, used drama, music and other art work to pass messages of human trafficking, encouraging fellow students to be careful and report any suspicious actions to the club for more action.