NAPTIP and ARK Group conclude bus campaign against human trafficking
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), with technical assistance from the ARK Group, funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (a department of the Government of Canada), concluded the 2nd edition of its dynamic bus campaign against human trafficking in Nigeria on Friday, 25 August. The bus campaign intends to raise awareness and educate the public, particularly road travellers and critical stakeholders in the road transportation value chain (drivers, ticket sales operators, terminal managers, security officials, cleaners, e.t.c.), about the effects, dangers, and signs of trafficking in persons. The strategic aim of this approach is to recruit and empower these stakeholders as first-line responders with the capacity and knowledge to detect, protect, and report suspected cases of trafficking of at-risk individuals, including the various safe routes for reporting such cases.
Human trafficking remains a serious issue in Nigeria, with NAPTIP statistics from 2019 to 2022 revealing that 61% of human trafficking cases occur internally within the country, while 39% are generated from cross-border trafficking, primarily through land borders and by means of road transportation. Hence, the campaign, which was conducted at four strategic bus terminal locations in Lagos State, attracted over 450 road transport stakeholders who were sensitised and educated on the signs and options for reporting suspected cases of trafficking in persons.
Leading the sensitisation campaign, Mr. Josiah Emerole, Director of Research and Program Development Department, NAPTIP, informed transport operators of the need to be careful with those they carry in their vehicles; if they are found to be facilitators of human trafficking, it could lead to the closure of their business and prosecution.
Mrs. Ijeoma Amugo, Esq., Director of Violence Against Persons’ (VAPP) Department, NAPTIP, who participated in the campaign activities, stated that “people need to realise that children under the age of 12 who are under their roof and are exploited for labour could turn out to be violent members of society—this is why NAPTIP is against this crime”.
“The impactful bus campaign is designed to recruit all Nigerians and particularly large road transportation companies in the fight against trafficking in persons and modern-day slavery. The commitment to end TiP cannot and is not the responsibility of the government alone. It requires a whole-of-society approach, which includes the private sector represented by the partnering bus companies: Young Shall Grow, Chisco Transport, GUO Transport, and Ifesinachi Motors. The determination and resilience of NAPTIP to protect the wellbeing and welfare of vulnerable populations susceptible to trafficking is the reason why they are our partner of choice, articulated Emmanuel Bosah, ARK Group.
The collaboration between NAPTIP and the ARK Group continues on social media, as citizens are encouraged to follow the campaign on social media using the hashtag #NigeriansAgainstTrafficking and actively participate in spreading awareness to create a safer society and protect vulnerable individuals from the clutches of human trafficking.
National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) was created on 14th of July 2003 by the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act 2003.
The Agency is the Federal Government of Nigeria’s response to addressing the scourge of trafficking in persons. It is a fulfillment of the country’s international obligation under the Trafficking in Persons Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, supplementing the United Nations Transnational Organized Crime Convention (UNTOC).
About ARK Group
ARK is a research, conflict transformation and stabilisation consultancy that supports local communities in conflict and fragile areas. We believe that international stability, national security, community safety and individual empowerment are intrinsically linked. ARK partners with local stakeholders to provide insight and develop programmes that are of immediate, tangible assistance to conflict-affected communities.
For more information, interviews, or media inquiries, please contact: Emmanuel Bosah, email@example.com
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