Group scales up fight against human trafficking in schools, commuities
*Launches mobile app for trafficking alerts, rights abuse
To further educate Nigerians on the dangers of Human Trafficking, Gender-Based Violence, (GBV), and the antics of traffickers, Devatop Centre for Africa Development, has begun a grassroots and schools campaign to end the menace.
Speaking at the event yesterday in Abuja, the Communications Associate of the organization, Victoria Oladiran said they will be working with schools and teachers to reach young people with anti-trafficking messages as students are often the most targeted.
The campaign is in partnership with the United States embassy in Nigeria, Pamplona City Council, and Accion Contra LaTrata of Spain, to build the capacity of teachers to impact students, and directly reach out to students of tertiary institutions about the dangers of human trafficking, GBV, and other rights abuse.
She said “We have come to realise that the vulnerable persons that are most targeted by traffickers now are students. So we thought to forestall such issues, make sure the young persons are sensitised, let them be able to detect the red flags”.
Oladiran explained that the reason why Devatop has developed the culture of going to schools and grassroots communities with their trafficking campaigns is because “The trafficking world is a business world with perpetrators and the market is driven by young people for the purposes of sexual exploitation, labour and others.
She adds that the Talkam mobile app developed by Devatop will ensure victims report TIP and other cases of abuse without the fear of stigmatisation.
“We also know that we cannot reach these young people one on one however, a teacher is a very strong force in society such that when you equip a teacher, it is possible for that teacher to equip not just the students of today with that knowledge but generations over generations and set over set will be influenced by the capacity of the teacher.
Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, (NAPTIP), Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi who was represented at the event by Mr. Aganlan Ganiu, noted that teachers have a pivotal role as change agents in society and in the fight against human trafficking and the attendant consequences.
The DG said “As teachers and intending teachers, you have great potential and one of the great things that are bestowed on you is the education of our children. NAPTIP has a curriculum for both tertiary and secondary schools on trafficking in persons so you can key into it.”
Chief intelligence officer of NAPTIP, Roseline Abare, assured victims of TIP of confidentiality in the treatment of their cases whenever they report such to NAPTIP.
According to her, “people are often forced or coerced into trafficking due to abduction or fraud, deception or the abuse of power, by position or vulnerability, receiving payment or benefits to achieve also having control over the person for the general reason of ‘exploitation.’