The Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi today, 19th April 2022 unveiled two short movie skits on Gender-Based Violence (Domestic Violence) and Human Trafficking in the Agency’s Headquarters, Abuja. In her words, performing Arts, also known as Drama has been found to be a veritable prevention strategy in counter-trafficking and migrant smuggling as it is used beyond entertaining and educating; but also to mirror society. For this reason, Dr. Waziri-Azi said since her assumption of office in September 2021, she has repositioned the NAPTIP Drama Club as part of a reloading initiative for the Agency’s awareness creation against human trafficking and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).
Describing Drama as a unique tool in accomplishing socio-cultural and behavioural change in a positive direction in the society; the NAPTIP Director-General reiterated that drama is a formidable force in the transformation of society through the creation of the right values and creating public awareness on a particular issue where change is needed.
Speaking through the NAPTIP Director of the Public Enlightenment Department of the Agency, Mr. Josiah Emerole, who represented her at the event, the DG appreciated the United States Mission in Nigeria which made this project a reality with its kind funding support. Mr. Emerole further commended the leadership of Devatop Centre for Africa Development and their efforts in combatting trafficking in Persons in Nigeria in partnership with the Agency and invite the public to join forces with NAPTIP to prevent the scourge of human trafficking and Gender-based violence in Nigeria.
The Executive Director of Devatop, Joseph Osagie, stated that these short films are part of his organization’s collaboration with NAPTIP under the TALKAM project sponsored by the United States Embassy in Nigeria, Accion Contra La Trata (ACT) and Pamplona City. He acknowledged other partners like Project Pink Blue and Active Voices Initiative for Sustainable Development for being part of the project. He noted that the purpose of the skits is for extensive sensitization on human trafficking and gender-based violence, especially via social media. He also thanked the Agency for her sustaining partnership with Davatop over the past seven years.
In her special remarks, the Political Officer of the US Embassy in Nigeria, Carolyn Ratclaff stated that the United States is committed to supporting programmes on the suppression of human trafficking and related vices. She further highlighted that the US Embassy in Nigeria has been in an active partnership with NAPTIP for several years now and would continue to work together to prevent the crime.
The Coordinator of the NAPTIP Drama Club, Angela Agbayekhai thanked Dr. Waziri-Azi for supporting the NAPTIP Drama Club as a tool to further one of her thematic priority on awareness creation against trafficking in Persons in Nigeria. She stated that all the characters in the two short films were members of the NAPTIP Drama Club. She further thanked the Officers of the Agency who were cast in the short films for their creativity and for putting in their best into the production. The Special Assistant to the Director-General, Kelechi Gary Amadi and the Head of Press and Public Relations Unit (PPRU) of the Agency, Stella Nezan were among the senior officers of the Agency who were present at the event, including all members of the NAPTIP Drama Club.
The two short films feature subthemes of some new trends in human trafficking such as baby factory/sale of babies, social media recruitment as well as the daunting consequences of gender-based violence on the victims, especially post-traumatic stress disorder, other related psychosocial conditions and death in some extreme cases. The skits also feature the most effective channels for reporting human trafficking and Gender-Based Violence cases which include the use of the TALKAM App, NAPTIP shortcode for calls – 627 and other helplines, 07030000203, 09030002362.
These short films are not only relevant but also timely given the alarming increase in the incidences of domestic violence across the country, globalization and technological advancements that is equally driving unwholesome stories among teenagers, especially of school-age into the web of social media mischiefs, pornography as well as other social issues that are linked to human trafficking and Sexual/Gender-Based Violence.