NACTAL partner NAPTIP on human trafficking in Enugu
The Network Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL) has said it decided to partner with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP), following the rise in cases of human trafficking, especially trafficking in children in Enugu State since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
The state Coordinator, NACTAL, Amarachi Kene-Okafor, disclosed, at the weekend, during a media engagement that the organisation is concerned about the way Nigerians are trafficked for financial rewards.
Speaking on the theme, ‘The Use and Abuse of Technology,’ Kene-Okafor stated: “The emergence of COVID-19 aided increase in the use of technology and in the long run human trafficking for financial gains.”
She stated the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic created a situation where traffickers sought cyberspace to perpetrate their nefarious activities.
She added: “Traffickers use social media to identify, groom and recruit victims, including children; they used emails and messaging services for moral coercion of victims; and online platforms allow traffickers to widely advertise services provided by victims, including child photographic material.”
She added that traffickers cashed in on the crisis situation to ply their trade knowing that in a chaotic situation, people can seek help of any kind.
“Criminals profit from the chaos, desperation and separation of people, particularly women and children, from support systems and family members.
“For people on the move, online resources can become a trap, especially when it comes to phoney travel arrangements and fake job offers to target vulnerable groups,” she said.
Also speaking, South East Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, Mrs. Nneka Ajie, disclosed that no fewer than 1,800 human trafficking victims have been rescued in Enugu in the last 10 years.
She described human trafficking as modern-day slavery, adding that the recruitment of victims had gone multi-dimensional.
She added that no fewer than 170 human trafficking cases had been reported in the state in the last one year, with four convictions recorded within the period.
On the theme of the 2022 celebration, Ajie said the new approach to recruiting victims involves the use of technology.
“Over 40 per cent of victims are now recruited online and this has raised concerns considering the impact of social media on our children,” she said.