Home News NAPTIP, Foundation begin rigorous training for anti-human trafficking task force

NAPTIP, Foundation begin rigorous training for anti-human trafficking task force

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By ADEROGBA GEORGE

ABUJA- The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) began a four-day intensive training for members.

The Bootcamp was organised for the state task force in collaboration with the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public policies (FIIAPP).

FIIAPP is a Spanish Public foundation promoting the Action against Trafficking in Person and Smuggling of Migrants (A-TIPSOM) in Nigeria, a project funded by the European Union (EU).

Declaring the four-day Bootcamp open, NAPTIP Director-General, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, explained that the task force was a strategic instrument that the NAPTIP adopted to harness counter-trafficking efforts at the sub-national level.

Waziri-Azi said the counter-trafficking initiative is a component of the awareness strategy of the agency, aimed at securing the support of critical stakeholders and partners.

”The bootcamp is to prepare the task force members to learn coding and various antics which the traffickers are using to lure their victims day by day.

”Over the years these traffickers always used online platforms to lure their victims but with the emergence of COVID-19, they switched-over to different methods as the virus brought out digital transformation.

”Traffickers come out with different antics as they have now shifted from online to offline, adding that NAPTIP would also not rest on its oars in fighting the menace.

“We have seen an increase in advertorial, fake scholarships which traffickers now post on the social media handles to lure people.

“For us as the crime of human trafficking evolves, we also have to rise-up to the occasion, late last year, we went into partnership with Facebook and this partnership has given us access to thousands of information on online trafficking, child exploitation and sextortion.

“We now have a growing trend of sextortion where people lure other people to share a nude photo of themselves, and use this to blackmail their victims, that is one area we are working on,” she said.

The director-general said in September the agency entered into a partnership with Facebook .

”Very soon NAPTIP will launch the Alert which will be the second in Africa, it is just a way to have a good report of buying and selling of children.

“The initiative is to enhance rapid response, investigation and prosecution, with this, NAPTIP will receive alerts when a child is reported adopted, the alert will then be shared on Facebook within the vicinity where the child was last seen,’’ she said.

Waziri-Azi disclosed that the agency was also focusing on capacity building of the staff to enhance their workforce.

Also speaking, Mr Jose Nsang-Andeme, FIIAPP Coordinator in Nigeria, commended the list of breakthroughs the foundation has achieved with the support of NAPTIP, saying that it is worth celebrating.

He said that NAPTIP, FIIAPP and other partners in the fight against human trafficking must continue to collaborate if the state task force is to succeed.

“I expect that all the issues to operationalise the already inaugurated state task forces will be properly addressed, and necessary actions will be taken as a result of this Bootcamp.

“I expect that the proposal that I saw in the concept note, to make the Bootcamp an annual meeting, will be granted approval, as this is very good practice,’’ Nsang-Andeme stressed.

The Country Representative in Nigeria, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mr Oliver Stolpe, stated that the 2020 UN Global Report on Trafficking in Persons shows that the use of the internet has been integrated into the business model of traffickers.

He said that the system had facilitated the luring of victims into sexual exploitation, forced labour and forced criminality.

He added that the expanded global usage of technology fostered by COVID-19 pandemic has further increased these risks with traffickers using the internet to identify, recruit and control their victims, advertise services and launder the proceeds of their crimes.

Stolpe said that the principal purpose of the Bootcamp was to bring together members in the 21 states where state task forces on human trafficking had been established by NAPTIP, and make them to learn more especially on the tricks used by these traffickers.

The Chief of Mission, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Mr Frantz Celestin, noted that human trafficking was a serious human rights violation which thrives on exploiting human beings for profit, adding that, to curb it, multi-pronged strategies was required.

Represented by Mrs Bertha Nguvulu, IOM Project Officer on Counter Trafficking, Assisted Vulnerable Migrant and Mixed Migration, stated that there was need for coordination to win the war against trafficking.

Celestin said that coordination creates a strategic framework for effectiveness in the fight against trafficking in persons issue and it helps stakeholders to bring-in their expertise.

He said that IOM has supported NAPTIP in the establishment and strengthening of its 15 state task forces across the country and would continue to support the agency in whatever form within its capacity.

“Operationalisation of the task force is key and demands effective leadership and a unified commitment from all stakeholders.

“We pledge our continued support to migration governance and counter trafficking efforts to the federal and State Government and would like to reiterate our continued partnership for facilitating human and orderly migration for the benefit of all,’’ Celestin said. (NAN)

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