Counter Trafficking: NAPTIP, COAS sets up vanguards in military schools
As part of a joint effort to cascade enlightenment on the dangers of human trafficking and violence against persons to the grassroots, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, (NAPTIP), and the Chief of Army Staff have agreed to set up Anti-Human Trafficking and Violence Against Persons Vanguards in all Military Secondary Schools in Nigeria.
Director General, of NAPTIP, Professor Fatima Waziri-Azi, said the setting up on the vanguard is an intentional effort with key partners to sensitize the youth in secondary schools as agents of change on the devastating impact of human trafficking and violence against persons.
She said young people are the key targets of human traffickers who now adopt various methods of luring their intended victim, especially using the social media therefore, she earned students to beware of perceived mouth-water job offers and other such opportunities which are mostly traps by traffickers.
According to her, “the vanguard will be instituted across all military schools in Nigeria.
“The vanguard is a platform where young people are educated and also educate themselves on issues of human trafficking and violence against persons.
“We want to raise a generation of young people who are aware of the tricks of human traffickers who are targeting young boys and girls and will also take these messages to their homes and society.
She mentioned some of the methods of online recruitment of victims to include phishing, hunting and Q-net, all of which largely use the internet to contact, recruit and eventually convincing and trafficking victims.
Professor Waziri-Azi explained that out of the 110 unity schools, the agency is targeting to set up the Vanguards, 89 have already been set up while the remaining will soon be reached.
Unveiling the Vanguard signboard, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya, points that human trafficking is a grave violation of rights as it entrenches the exploitation of vulnerable members of the society.
Represented by the Director of Education, Garrison Command, Army headquarters, Lieutenant General U A. Mamadi, he said “As a society, it is our responsibility to protect our children so we must raise the awareness on human trafficking towards and we must support organisations working to prevent and bring human traffickers to justice.”
Speaking on the key role the schools vanguard plays in educating and preventing human trafficking, the Project Manager of the International Center for Migration Policy Development, (ICMPD), Adeniyi Bakare, explained that what NAPTIP is doing with the setting up of the Vanguards, is the mainstreaming of punter human trafficking in schools in Nigeria.
Bakare who stood in for the ICMPD Head of Office, West Africa, Mojisola Shodeinde, said his organisation is facilitating cross-border collaboration with NAPTIP as a partner.to stem human trafficking.
“We are facilitating cross-border collaboration in partnership with NAPTIP to stem human trafficking and tackle the devastating menace. Human Trafficking can lead to other forms of crime”, hence the joint effort.