Nigeria is ranked the 4th in the world with the highest number of victims of human trafficking at an estimate of 701, 032. Over 800, 000 women, children and men are bought and sold across international borders every year and exploited for labour, organ removal and commercial sex.
According to UNICEF, 2 million children are subjected to prostitution in the global commercial sex trade; every two minutes a child is being prepared for sexual exploitation, and the average age of a trafficked victim is 12 – 14 years. 80% of the victims are young people, 50% are children and 70% are women and girls. Other issues that threaten women and girls are rape and gender-based violence. All over the world there are daily reports of human trafficking, sexual abuse and gender-based violence.
To address these problems, The Academy for Prevention of Human Trafficking and other related Matters (a subsidiary of Devatop Centre for Africa Development) in partnership with National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Fight Against Child Trafficking, Dorothy Njemanze Foundation, African Centre for Media and Information Literacy and Media Insight organized Anti-Human Trafficking Advocacy Course to train over 68 advocates to be in the forefront of combating human trafficking and gender-based violence.
The trainees include law enforcement agents, medical professionals/health workers, legal practitioners, educators, faith-based organizations, youth, journalists, media personnel, and community volunteers mobilized from different states in Nigeria. During the two days training, the participants learnt overview of human trafficking, sex trafficking, labour trafficking, organ trafficking, gender-based violence and how to tackle them through advocacy. They were equipped and empowered to do step down training; observe and monitor incidence of human trafficking or gender-based violence, and carryout advocacy in their various communities and states.
According to Mr. Joseph Osuigwe Chidiebere, the Executive Director of Devatop Centre for Africa Development and the coordinator of The Academy for Prevention of Human Trafficking and Other Related Matters (TAPHOM), there is much work to do to combat and prevent human trafficking and gender-based violence, but more people are needed to do them. People might think human trafficking is a thing of the past, but it is happening now. There is hardly any family that is not touched by the effects of human trafficking, rape or gender-based violence. He expressed his passion to engage stakeholders in building a world without human trafficking and gender-based violence. In an interview with the media, he said, “We can’t keep silent at this evil. We can’t close our eyes to it. We can’t pretend as if it doesn’t exist. We have to take action, and nothing but action.”
To boost the fight against human trafficking, the organizers inaugurated Day of Advocacy against Human Trafficking which will be commemorated in Nigeria every November or 26th November. Day of Advocacy against Human Trafficking is a period to raise awareness of the plight of human trafficking victims, support victims, honour survivors, and strengthen policies against human trafficking. It is a day to advocate for employers, consumers, companies, faith-based communities, schools, families, individuals, private and government sector to participate in preventing the incidence of human trafficking in Nigeria.
During the graduation of the trainees and inauguration of Day of Advocacy against Human Trafficking, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, former Chairman of National Human Rights Commission advised the participants to start putting things right in Nigeria. He also mentioned that bad leadership and poverty were among the causes of human trafficking. The Inspector-General of Police, represented by Commissioner of Police – Interpol, Abuja, Mr. Olusola Subair assured the participants that Police will continue to improve its efforts and strategies in the fight against human trafficking. The Director of Public Enlightenment of National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Mr. Arinze Orakwue inspired the trainees to take strategic actions to prevent human trafficking.
The participant expressed their readiness to create more awareness in their communities and take responsibilities in combating human trafficking.
Devatop Centre for Africa Development is a 21st century nonprofit organization that has trained over 4500 people from over 30 communities on prevention of human trafficking. Over the past two years, Devatop has engaged more than 15 organizations/companies and 80 volunteers in the fight against human trafficking. The organization established the The Academy for Prevention of Human Trafficking, which is the first in Nigeria, to raise advocates and trainers to combat human trafficking, end gender-based violence and ensure gender equality. The academy is focused on training, advocacy, counseling, research, referral and publications.
Devatop Centre for Africa Development can be contacted through:
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