December 9, 2023

Firm fights human trafficking with awareness campaign

Firm fights human trafficking with awareness campaign

By Juliet Umeh

To create awareness on the tactics of human traffickers and how to avoid them, a Lifestyle and Wellness-focused company, QNET, has launched a “Say NO” public awareness campaign.

The company said the major aim of the campaign is to educate communities about the dangers of fake job offers used by fraudsters to lure members of the public into human trafficking.

According to the company, “The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, defines Human trafficking as a global crime that trades in people and exploits them for profit.

“People of all genders, ages and backgrounds can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world. Traffickers use violence, fraudulent employment agencies, and fake promises of education and job opportunities to trick, coerce and deceive their victims.

“Across Africa and in Nigeria, reputable companies such as QNET, Coca-Cola and even the West African Development Bank, BOAD, have fallen victim to scammers who use their reputable names to deceitfully promise non-existent jobs to members of the public for purposes of exploitation. The lack of awareness about such scams and about human trafficking are, therefore, a key challenge in the fight against the vice.

“The campaign shall be implemented in several countries, starting with Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Senegal. It consists of a public education campaign that will use radio, billboards, pamphlets and other activities aimed at sensitizing communities, especially in regions where the prevalence of fake job scams is high,” the company explained.

QNET’s Regional General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, Mr. Biram Fall, said: “Human Trafficking destroys the lives of victims and communities and, it is regrettable that scammers often use the names of reputable companies such as QNet to promise fake jobs.

“We, therefore, believe that the private sector should support the efforts of states to tackle the vice, and the “Say NO” Awareness Campaign is our contribution. It seeks to empower communities with the knowledge and awareness they need to “Say No!” to the traffickers who want to rob them of their future.“

Meanwhile, the Nigerian government, in collaboration with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, has made sustained efforts to combat human trafficking.

Even, a United States Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report shows that Nigeria has been placed on Tier 2, reflecting significant governmental endeavours.

The report also indicates an increase in the identification of trafficking victims, rising from 935 in the previous reporting period to 1,634 in 2023.

Also commenting, Managing Director of Transblue Limited, the Nigerian partner of QNET, Akeem Ajisafe said: “The Nigerian government, in collaboration with NAPTIP and other relevant agencies, have shown unwavering commitment to combating human trafficking.

“Their dedicated efforts can be seen in the increased identification of trafficking victims, which showcases a proactive stance in addressing this critical issue. The ‘Say NO’ campaign aims to amplify these efforts by educating the youth in Nigeria on recognizing and avoiding fraudulent job offers.

“Empowering the younger generation with knowledge is essential in fortifying our collective stand against human trafficking, and I believe this campaign will contribute significantly to that endeavour.”

He also noted that QNET has implemented several measures to prevent the use of its platforms to perpetrate fraud. He said: “This includes the implementation of customer identification technology that blocks users from buying products or referring customers from a country different from their own. With this technology, only users with verified identity documents can refer other customers, and those who are in breach of the company code of conduct are removed from the network.

“Any individual found fraudulently using the company’s name shall be reported to the authorities, and QNet will seek full punishment according to the law.

“In addition to these, the company trains its Independent Representatives on its products, ethical practices and entrepreneurial skills, thereby empowering them to generate income for themselves and their families by referring customers to QNet,” he stated.