From Francis Nansak,Lafia
The International and Ibero-America Foundation for Administration and Public Policy (FIIAPP) has began a two-day workshop to increase awareness on social media about human trafficking activities in the country.
FIIAPP is a Spanish public foundation and is currently working on Action Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Nigeria (A-TIPSOM), a project aimed at reducing the menace in the country.
Speaking at the opening session of workshop on Tuesday, Mr Joseph-Olusegun Sanwo, FIIAPP Senior Project Officer, stated that social media as a veritable tool would also be helpful to keep people alerted of trafficking issues.
According to him, trafficking issue is a global problem and a global problem needs a global solution, and that is why FIIAPP consider social media since it is a media that goes widely to fight this menace.
“Nigerian youths, children, women and the populace at large need to be more aware of trafficking and the strategies used by traffickers to get their subject.
“This project funded by European Union is also focusing on protection of victims and prosecution of offenders, partnering with national and international actors by ensuring adequate policies on the issue.
“Fighting this battle is not so easy as traffickers are daily planning strategies to evade arrest, and one of the way they do this is by engaging the youth through the use of social media.
“We at FIIAPP also intend to use social media to fight back and that is why the awareness on social media is necessary,” he said.
Sanwo therefore sought for continuos collaboration with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to enable FIIAPP to successfully deliver the A-TIPSOM project in Nigeria.
NAPTIP Director-General, Mrs Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, appreciated the sponsor of the workshop, and for extending it’s collaboration to the agency.
According to the D-G, NAPTIP as a government agency saddled with the responsibility of fighting trafficking, will continue to do its best and see that the menace is totally eradicated in the country.
She said that NAPTIP had been able to successfully clampdown on human traffickers who used social media as a tool in recruiting victims into a world of labour and sexual exploitation.
She added that traffickers were tracked down with the support of intelligence community based on information sharing, and called for more effort.
“As we all know, social media is increasingly being exploited to contact and recruit both the old and young for the sole purpose of exploitation.
“As an agency, it is our duty to use our social media platform to engage the general public on the tactics being used by these unscrupulous humans. We must do everything possible to protect our young ones from being prey to these traffickers.
Speaking also, President, Network Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL), Mr Abdulganiyu Abubakar, called on government of ECOWAS countries to review the policy on free movement.
Abubakar added that the free movement policy had aided the movement of criminals, traffickers and banditry into another country, nothing that, there was need to review this policy to curb the trend of trafficking.
“Tight security measures are needed at our borders, some people are not just coming into the neighbouring countries for business but for ulterior motives,” he said.