Experts advocate synergy, tech to combat human trafficking
The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) in collaboration with the Network Against Child Trafficking Abuse and Labour (NACTAL) Kwara State chapter has stressed the need for all stakeholders to synergize in combating human trafficking in Nigeria.
Speaking at an occasion, marking the 2022 World Day Against Human Trafficking on Friday at the Ministry of Women Affairs, Ilorin, Kwara State, Sa’adu Mustapha Ajara, the Kwara State Commander of NAPTIP, solicited support and collaboration from all and sundry to join hands with the agency to curb the menace.
Every 30 July is set aside by the United Nations as the ‘World Day Against Trafficking In Persons’ and the purpose of marking the day among other reasons, according to Ajara, is to create awareness on the dangers of the evil being perpetrated by traffickers, who lack feelings for fellow humans by exploiting and subjecting them to untold hardships just for their selfish gains.
The 2022 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons held on the theme, “Use and Abuse of Technology” and it aimed at exploring how technology facilitates and impedes human trafficking.
“NAPTIP, being the Federal Government focal agency in the fight against human trafficking, is mandated to coordinate all efforts geared towards curbing the crime.
“NAPTIP Kwara chapter began operations in March, 2022 as a state command carved out of Osogbo Zonal Command of the agency, which formerly was covering Kwara, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo states”, Ajara said.
He noted that due to the increase in state and interstate trafficking, buying and selling of children and cryptic pregnancies, NAPTIP has concluded partnership with Facebook and the National Center for Missing And Exploited Children, in the United States, to set up Amber Alert Nigeria whereby Facebook sends alerts to targeted Facebook community to help find missing children in Nigeria.
“The headquarters of NAPTIP has set up a small cybercrime team that is dedicated to tackling these online crimes. The agency conducts joint investigations with Interpol, DSS, Nigeria Police and others to tackle targeted cybercrimes, and the use of technology to create awareness”, he noted further.
Also speaking, Olufemi Oyedeji, NACTAL coordinator in Kwara State, said human trafficking is a global reality and a gross human right violation thus, requires concerted efforts by all to fight it.
“It is estimated that between 20 and 40 million people are in modern slavery every year globally. Human trafficking earns estimated profits of $150 billion annually for traffickers. Also an estimated 71 percent of human trafficking victims are women and girls, while men and boys account for 29 percent.
“In Nigeria, human trafficking affects 36 states including FCT. It is said that poverty, youth unemployment, lack of educational and economic opportunities, displacement and ignorance remain contributing factors. Traffickers now use hunting and fishing social media strategy to lure victims”, Oyedeji said.
Oyedeji had, while advocating for stringent measures to prevent, detect, report and punish perpetrators, appealed to government at all levels to prioritise fight against human trafficking.
In his submission, Kunle Osisanya-Afolabi, keynote speaker at the occasion, charged Nigerians to go back to God and seek for forgiveness, adding that with prayers; nothing is impossible.
He cautioned that the society cannot continue to do things the same way and except positive change, hence the need for people to change their attitude towards addressing child trafficking so as to attain a better result.
“We have to start doing things differently, everyone has to be technologically inclined and utilise internet in a positive manner,” he stated.