… Raise concern over use of technology to aid trafficking
By Ngozi Nwankwo
Ahead of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, and its partners, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC and International Organization for Migration, IOM have unveiled activities lined up to commemorate the 2022 event.
Speaking during the press conference in Abuja on Monday, the Director General of NAPTIP, Dr Fatima Waziri- Azi said human trafficking is an issue that concerns all of government and all of society.
Disclosing the theme of the 2022 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons as ” Use and Abuse of Technology”, Waziri-Azi said the theme is apt and could not have come a better time than now considering the fact that human traffickers now operate online as much as they operate offline.
According to her, the theme focuses on the role of Technology as a tool that can enable as well as impede human trafficking.
” The internet provides easy access to a larger pool of potential victims because geographical limitations no longer exist, thereby increasing the ease with which traffickers can locate and recruit their victims; control and organise transportation for victims, communicate amongst perpetrators, and hide criminal proceeds.
” At NAPTIP, we have seen an increase in fake job advertorial and fake scholarship via social media as Traffickers use it to recruit and cat fish unsuspecting victims. Traffickers also use technology to control their victims. For instance, besides oath taking, they make nude videos of their victims and threaten to share the explicit images online,” she said.
On the lined up activities to mark 2022 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the DG said there will be Premier of a short film title, Pound of Heart. A film on Organ Harvesting produced by the NAPTIP drama Club which will hold on Wednesday.
She also said there will be first stage of the Inter- University Debate on the 2022 theme. This, according to her, would involve students of the Law from four private Universities from FCT, and its environs;Baze University,Nile University, Veritas University, and Bingham University which will hold on Thursday.
Other activities include: Anti-corruption Human Trafficking Awareness Walk; Novelty football Match and Awareness Fitness Exercise and Jogging in collaboration with the Federation of Public Service Games; celebration with victims of Human Trafficking and Grand Finale of the World Day and finals of the Inter- University Debate.
Nigerian Pilot gathered that in 2013, the United Nations General Assembly held a high-level meeting and designated July 30th as the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. This resolution declared that that such a day was necessary to raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking; the promotion and protection of their rights; and mobilise political will and resources to address the global problem.
Speaking also, IOM Representative said the agency operates from the outset that trafficking in persons need to be approached within the context of managing migration for the benefit of all with interventions centered on the needs of the victims.
The IOM official said since 2017, IOM Nigeria has coordinated the return of over 27,000 Nigerian Migrants from 82 countries, adding that out of this number, 3,599 are victims of trafficking, 1,7 26VoT have received in-kind support to start businesses of their choice.
Also, the UNODC expressed optimism that the cumulative events would strengthen the agencies collective capacity to identify victims, recruiters and traffickers; and learn more about the tricks of the traffickers- how they select their victims, how they lure them in, and the various methods and forms used in creating and sustaining the exploitative relationship.