By Rosemary Ogbonnaya
In preparation for the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, and its partners, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC and the International Organization for Migration, IOM have unveiled the activities planned to commemorate the 2022 event.
Speaking at the press conference in Abuja on Monday, the Director General of NAPTIP, Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi said that human trafficking is a whole of government and whole of society problem. the society.
Divulging the theme for World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2022 as “Use and Abuse of Technology”, Waziri-Azi said the theme was appropriate and could not have come at a better time than now considering the fact that human traffickers now operate as much online as they operate offline.
According to her, the theme focuses on the role of technology as a tool that can enable and hinder human trafficking.
“The Internet provides easy access to a greater number of potential victims because geographical boundaries no longer exist, increasing the ease with which traffickers can locate and recruit their victims; controlling and organizing the transport of victims, communicating between perpetrators and concealing the proceeds of crime.
“At NAPTIP, we have seen an increase in fake job advertisements and fake scholarships via social media as traffickers use them to recruit and fish for unsuspecting victims. Traffickers also use technology to control their victims. For example, in addition to taking oaths, they make nude videos of their victims and threaten to share the explicit images online,” she said.
Regarding the activities planned to mark the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2022, the DG said that there will be the premier of a short film title, Pound of Heart. A film on organ harvesting produced by the NAPTIP drama club to be held on Wednesday.
She also said there will be a first stage of intercollegiate debate on the 2022 theme. This, she said, would involve law students from four private universities in and around FCT; Baze University, Nile University, Veritas University and Bingham University to be held on Thursday.
Other activities include: Anti-Corruption Human Trafficking Awareness Walk; New Football Match and Fitness and Jogging Awareness Exercise in collaboration with the Federation of Public Service Games; celebration with victims of human trafficking and grand finale of the World Day and final of the inter-university debate.
Waziri-Azi explained that in 2013, the United Nations General Assembly held a high-level meeting and designated July 30 as the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. This resolution declared 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 mobilize political will and resources to solve the global problem.
Also speaking, the IOM representative said that the agency operates from the outset that human trafficking must be addressed in the context of managing migration for the benefit of all with interventions centered on the needs of victims.
The IOM official said that since 2017, IOM Nigeria has coordinated the return of more than 27,000 Nigerian migrants from 82 countries, adding that of these, 3,599 are victims of trafficking, 1.7 26VoT have received in-kind support to start businesses of their choice.
Additionally, UNODC expressed optimism that the cumulative events would strengthen the collective ability of agencies to identify victims, recruiters and traffickers; and learn about the tricks of traffickers – how they select their victims, how they lure them, and the various methods and forms used to create and maintain the exploitative relationship.