Fight Against TIP and SGBV: NAPTIP, Nigeria Military Mull Partnership in the Establishment of Vanguards in Commands Secondary Schools across the Country

Efforts by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, (NAPTIP), to address issues of human trafficking and violence against persons assumed a new dimension as the Nigeria Military has thrown its weight behind setting up an Anti-Human Trafficking and Violence Against Persons Vanguards in all Military Secondary Schools across the Country.

The Anti-Human Trafficking and Violence Against Persons Vanguards is part of the counter-trafficking and preventive measures initiated by the Agency with the support from partners designed to enhance the understanding of the students on issues of trafficking in persons and SGBV to reduce their vulnerability.

Speaking at the sensitization and inauguration of the Vanguard at the Command Day Secondary School located inside the Lungi Barracks, Abuja, the Director General of NAPTIP, Professor Fatima Waziri-Azi, said the setting up of the Vanguard was a deliberate effort with key partners to sensitize the youth in secondary schools as agents of change on the damaging impact of human trafficking and violence against persons.

Prof. Fatima Waziri – Azi disclosed that young people are the key targets of human traffickers who now adopt various methods of luring their intended victim, especially using social media therefore, hence an urgent need for students to beware of perceived mouth-water job offers and other such opportunities which are designed to catch fish them.

The Director General who outlined some of the tricks of online recruitment of victims to include fishing, hunting, and Q-net, all of which largely use the internet to contact, recruit, and eventually convince their victims said “the vanguard will be instituted across all military schools in Nigeria.

“The vanguard is a platform where young people are educated and also educate themselves on issues of human trafficking and violence against persons.
“We want to raise a generation of young people who are aware of the tricks of human traffickers who are targeting young boys and girls and will also take these messages to their homes and society.

According to Professor Fatima Waziri-Azi, out of the 110 Unity schools in Nigeria, NAPTIP has to set up the Vanguards in 89 schools while the remaining schools will soon be inaugurated.

Speaking shortly before the Unveiling of the Vanguard signboard, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya, said that human trafficking remains a grave violation of rights as it entrenches the exploitation of vulnerable members of society.

Speaking through the Director of Education, Garrison Command, Army headquarters, Lieutenant General U A. Mamadi, said “As a society, it is our responsibility to protect our children so we must raise the awareness of human trafficking and we must support organizations working to prevent and bring human traffickers to justice.

In her speech, the Head of Office, West Africa, International Center for Migration Policy Development, (ICMPD), Dr. Mojisola Shodeinde, whose Organization supported the project, commended the efforts of NAPTIP in the setting up of the Vanguard which is another potent sensitization tool.

Represented by the Project Manager of the Centre, Mr. Adeniyi Bakare, ICMPD acknowledged that with the setting up of the Vanguard in schools across the Country, the Agency is gradually mainstreaming policies of human trafficking in schools in Nigeria in [practical term adding that the organization is facilitating cross-border collaboration with NAPTIP as a partner to address issues of human trafficking.

“We are facilitating cross-border collaboration in partnership with NAPTIP to stem human trafficking and tackle the devastating menace. Human Trafficking can lead to other forms of crime, hence the joint effort”.

Cross section of partners at the event commended NAPTIP for expanding the scope of its sensitization and bringing a new dimension to the Agency’s enlightenment programme.

The development will further enhance functional collaboration and synergy between the NAPTIP and the Military in the fight against human trafficking.

Vincent Adekoye
Press Officer

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