The Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in collaboration with Facebook and the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, United States, has concluded plans to set up Amber Alert Nigeria.
Amber Alert Nigeria is an emergency response system where Facebook sends alerts to targeted Facebook communities to help find missing children in Nigeria who may be undergoing exploitation.
Mr Nduka Nwawene, Benin Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, said this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Calabar while commemorating the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (WDATIP).
According to him, the system will soon come on stream to help in the fight against human trafficking.
WDATIP 2022 is a day set aside to raise awareness of the plight of victims of human trafficking and to promote and protect their rights against grave human rights violations, with the theme, “Use and Abuse of Technology”.
Nwawene said the partnership became necessary to introduce high-level technology in the fight against trafficking in persons because traffickers had also stepped up in the use of technology to facilitate illicit trade.
“Today, we see that technology helps in the recruitment of victims all over the world through online dating platforms where personal information of people is readily available via social media.
“It has also enabled the posting of fake job adverts, scholarships and recruitment to non-existent football clubs abroad.
“So, we are also using technology in no small measure to impede human trafficking activities by creating awareness to a large section of the society and also giving them the opportunity to report cases to NAPTIP easily,” he said.
According to the commander, consent was no issue and that even when a person submits his or herself to be trafficked, they are treated as victims by the agency because they may have been deceived.
He said these victims might not be told that they would be exploited or the level of exploitation they would face, as many of them come back with diseases like HIV, and pregnancies while some are even killed.
He said NAPTIP was doing a lot to ensure that victims were given a warm welcome and protected in the shelters of the agency as soon as they were rescued from their traffickers.
“I however use this opportunity to tell the state governments and Nigerians in general that the Federal Government cannot do it alone, we all need to be vigilant and not sacrifice our children on the altar of making money by exploiting them.
“State governments need to take ownership and complement the efforts of the agency in taking care of victims when they are rescued and taken to shelters in their states,” he said.