The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) has urged media organizations and professionals to partner the body in its efforts to curtail the incidence of human trafficking in the country.
It explained that the call had become imperative to further expose the cabals and other syndicate profiting from human trafficking trade in Nigeria as the country nears gaining total control against coronavirus in the country.
NAPTIP Press Officer, Vincent Adekoye, said as the agency continues to plan towards repositioning and strengthening the agency’s intelligence mechanisms against human trafficking, the media role in the fight against the crime cannot be overemphasized.
Adekoye, who spoke at the weekend during an international virtual migration summit themed Migration: Remedies for Covid-19 and the economy organized by the Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM), on zoom, also revealed that the citizens have an important role to play in ending the crime against humanity.
He disclosed that as part of its mandate, the agency had been monitoring the latest trends of human trafficking acts involving mass recruitment of Nigerians to countries like Oman, Arabia, Cairo, Lebanon, and some African countries under the guise of seeking unskilled labor, sexual and labor exploitation.
“The media has a crucial role to play in the post COVID- 19 containment of Human trafficking. This is because human trafficking remains a present-day danger and major security threat globally.
“The media should give more prominence to the menace through effective reportage of human trafficking story via unsolicited features, analysis, commentary, and other special reports.
“Also, the media should be careful so as not to be used by unscrupulous persons to promote human trafficking through uncensored jingles and other persuasive contents announcing nonexistent scholarship and other voodoo offers abroad,” he said.
Adekoye reiterated the agency’s readiness and commitment towards smoking out all human trafficking agents from the country saying the Director-General of NAPTIP, Barrister Julie Okah-Donli had in line with the agency’s resolve placed a premium on accelerated actions and collaborations with the media in the fight against child labor, women exploitation and other forms of crime within the purview of the agency.
He said the post-COVID-19 concern of NAPTIP included a possible increase in the activities of trafficking syndicates who may take advantage of the huge casualties especially in the destination countries to deceive, recruit and traffic vulnerable Nigerians for exploitation.
“On our own part, NAPTIP has commenced aggressive enlightenment and massive awareness on all social media platforms to tackle the emerging situation. The Agency has also strengthened its collaboration with other partners including the media in this regard. The intelligence unit of the agency has also been further reactivated” Adekoye stated.
He solicited corporations from the media to tackle the illicit trade valued worldwide at $150 billion as of 2014 by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).