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Social media fueling human trafficking, says NAPTIP

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• Group wants influx of foreign youths checked
The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has alleged that social media is fueling human trafficking in the country, urging stakeholders to unite against the menace.

NAPTIP Director General, Imaan Suleiman Ibrahim, made the allegation, yesterday, in Keffi, Nassarawa State at a two-day capacity building workshop for social media handlers.

The event, meant to create awareness against trafficking, was organised by the Action Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (A-TIPSOM), a project funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Spanish Public Foundation (FIIAPP).

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Ibrahim, who stressed the need to engage stakeholders in protecting youths, especially females, from falling preys to traffickers, said social media was increasingly being used to contact and recruit both old and young for the sole purpose of exploitation.

According to her, NAPTIP is being repositioned to be more responsive to the challenges associated with combating the scourge of human trafficking in all its ramifications.

“As an agency, we are poised to enlightening these youths and other potential victims on the dangers involved in being lured for lucrative job offers that seem too good to be true, as we have seen since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. It is our duty as officers and media professionals to continue to use the social media space effectively in preaching against trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants and shutting down the online operatives of these traffickers.

“I implore everyone to be steadfast in the use of the social media platforms in carrying out public enlightenment campaigns and also find better ways to optimise the use of the social media in ensuring that potential victims get firsthand knowledge of the evil games played by these traffickers,” she said.

MEANWHILE, the National President, Network Against Child Trafficking and Abuse (NACTA), Abdulganiyu Abubakar, has raised the alarm over increasing exodus of young people from Niger Republic, Ghana, Mali and Burkina Faso into Nigeria on daily basis.

He said most of them take advantage of the ECOWAS free movement policy to enter Nigeria en mass, stressing the need for member countries to review the policy as it is not only aiding human trafficking but banditry.

Abubakar, who lamented the porosity of Nigerian borders, stressed the need to check influx of foreigners and ensure they don’t use that opportunity to move bandits into Nigeria.

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