By Chinedu Adonu
Network Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour, NACTAL, Enugu State chapter has partnered the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons, NAPTIP, to eradicate the hydra-headed human trafficking especially trafficking in children.
The Enugu State Coordinator, NACTAL, Amb. Amarachi Kene-Okafor, disclosed this during a media engagement for the commemoration of 2022 World Day Against Trafficking In Persons held at the Christian Retreat Centre, Enugu.
Speaking on the theme of the Day tagged, “the use and abuse of Technology,” Kene-Okafor said that NACTAL and NAPTIP were working in synergy to tackle child trafficking in Enugu State and Nigeria.
“NACTAL is in all states of the Federation and in FCT and as a network of CSOs that work closely with NAPTIP, we shall do all within our power to ensure that trafficking in persons is eradicated in our country and in Enugu in partner,” she said.
She appreciated the year’s theme which focused on the role of technology as a tool that can both enable and impede human trafficking.
She noted that the emergence of COVID-19 aided the increase in the use of technology, pointing out that because of the COVID-19 pandemic traffickers sought the Cyber space to perpetrate their nefarious activities.
“By shift our everyday life to online platforms — the crime of human trafficking has conquered cyber space.”
She acknowledged that technology was a good thing, but lamented that traffickers uses technology for the wrongs reasons.
“The internet and digital platforms offer traffickers numerous tools to recruit, exploit, and control victims; organize their transport and accommodation; advertise victims and reach out to potential clients; communicate among perpetrators; and hide criminal proceeds – and all that with greater speed, cost-effectiveness and anonymity.
“Moreover, technology allows these criminals to operate internationally across jurisdictions and evade detection with greater ease.
“Traffickers use social media to identify, groom and recruit victims, including children; e-mails and messaging services are used for the moral coercion of the victims; and online platforms allow traffickers to widely advertise services provided by victims, including child photographical material.”
According to her traffickers cash in on crisis situations to ply their trade knowing that at a chaotic situation, people can seek help of any kind.
“Criminals profit from the chaos, desperation, and separation of people – particularly women and children – from support systems and family members.
“For people on the move, online resources can become a trap, especially when it comes to phony travel arrangements and fake job offers targeting vulnerable groups,” she said
She further said that prevention and awareness-raising activities on the safe use of the internet and social media could help mitigate the risk of people falling victim of trafficking online.
In her speech, the Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, South East, Nneka Ajia condemned human trafficking which she described as modern slavery. She said that people use various tactics to traffic in humans which inimical to the society.