NAPTIP, Meta launch tracking programme for missing children
• Express concerns over increasing cases of abduction of children
The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), in collaboration with a social technology company, Meta, has launched an Amber Alert programme aimed at helping people find missing children by sending alerts to Facebook and Instagram communities in Nigeria.
The programme is an emergency alert used by law enforcement in response to high-risk child abduction and works by distributing information about the abducted child and a plea to the public for help in finding the missing child.
Speaking at the launch of the programme in Abuja, Meta Director of Trust and Safety, Emily Vacher said Amber Alert is designed to increase the chances of finding missing children by putting more people on the lookout for them.
She explained that when the programme is activated by the law enforcement agency, the alert will appear on the Facebook and Instagram feeds of users within the designated search area, enabling them to share the information instantly with friends or contact authorities if they have leads.
Vacher stated that the alert is designed to include important information about the missing child, such as a photo description, location of the abduction and other relevant information to aid in immediately identifying the missing child.
She said: “Already available across 28 countries globally, we are proud to partner with NAPTIP to make Amber Alert available in Nigeria., the second African country to join this programme. When there is a reported case of a missing child, the most valuable thing one can do is to share information as quickly as possible.
“By working with law enforcement in helping to share the right information with the right people, we hope that the missing children will be safely reunited with their families faster.”
The Director General of NAPTIP, Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi, who lamented that Nigeria is grappling with increasing cases of missing children, commended Meta for the collaboration, noting that the Amber Alert programme will ensure faster response in finding missing children.
While noting that a swift and collective response to abduction cases is key to finding missing children, Waziri-Azi stressed that with the alert, more people can be on the lookout for reported missing kids in their vicinity and report all leads to relevant authorities.
On how the programme works, Meta’s Head of Public Policy, Anglophone West Africa, Adaora Ikenze said that the apps can be used as a force for good and the Amber Alert launch across Instagram and Facebook highlights this.
she described the partnership with NAPTIP as another important milestone in reinforcing the company’s ongoing commitment to Nigeria, stressing that a decision to declare an Amber Alert is made by NAPTIP when investigating a suspected abduction case.