Friday, August 12, 2022

Human traffickers shifting from physical to virtual recruitment: NAPTIP

“There is a shift from physical recruitment to virtual recruitment through virtual assessment of victims and proxy negotiations.”

• July 25, 2022
NAPTIP Headquarters
NAPTIP Headquarters (Photo Credit: Nigerian Tribune)

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has accused human traffickers of using social media platforms to lure Nigerians, thereby making them victims of human trafficking.

The director-general of the agency, Fatima Waziri-Azi, said although the social media platforms have come as a great relief, traffickers are utilising them in recruiting victims.

“There is a shift from physical recruitment to virtual recruitment through virtual assessment of victims and proxy negotiations,” she stressed.

She disclosed that the internet had provided access to a larger pool of potential victims because geographical limitations no longer existed.

”This, thereby, increased the ease with which traffickers could locate and recruit their victims; control and organise transportation for them,” she said.

Ms Waziri-Asi cautioned Nigerians to desist from all forms of negative use of social media.

She spoke at a news conference on Monday in Abuja to mark the 2022 World Day Against Human Trafficking.

The director-general noted that Nigerians were invited by these traffickers to so many illegal activities online to get them greener pasture.

According to her, the theme for the year“Use and Abuse of Technology’’, both on the negative and positive side, must be checkmated not to allow the negative to overshadow the positive.

The DG said the United Nations chose the theme to focus on the role of technology as a tool to impede human trafficking.

Ms Waziri-Azi commended all partners against human trafficking who supported the agency both in the past and present, saying that they had continued to show remarkable interest in the cause of fighting the menace of human trafficking.

Abimbola Adewumi, team leader, Counter Trafficking Programme Officer, United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC), one of the partners, assured NAPTIP of its continuous support to rid Nigeria of the menace of human trafficking.

Jose Nsang-Andeme, the coordinator of the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), noted that there was also the need to leverage social media to educate young Nigerians on the negative consequences of human trafficking.

He lamented the rise of human trafficking through school excursions, and orphanages, adding that there was a need for collaborating agencies to rise to the ugly trend and nip it in the bud.

(NAN)

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