The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has warned youths and parents to be wary of online offers for job opportunities abroad as human traffickers now take advantage of digital technology to trick unsuspecting persons and traffic them.
The Director General of NAPTIP, Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi stated this at a press conference preceding the World Day against Human Trafficking to be commemorated on the 30th of this month.
Dr. Waziri-Azi said while the agency had stepped up efforts to clamp down on the perpetrators of the menace, traffickers were becoming more sophisticated by shifting from physical recruitment to virtual recruitment of victims and proxy negotiation.
She observed that the internet had become easy access to a large pool of potential victims because geographical limitations no longer exist, thereby increasing the ease with which traffickers locate and recruit their victims, control and organize transportation for them, communicate among perpetrators, and hide criminal proceeds.
According to Dr. Waziri-Azi, the agency in collaboration with its partners has lined up activities to commemorate the World Day against Human trafficking which include an inter-Private university debate on the theme for this year ‘’ Use and Abuse of Technology’’, anti-human trafficking awareness walk, Novelty football match and celebration with victims of human trafficking.
The team leader, Counter trafficking programme, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, Mrs. Abimbola Adewumi expressed worry that most of the victims found in West Africa were male and female children trafficked to work on plantations, mines, and quarry sites and as vendors.
Mrs. Adewumi who said most of the victims were from poor households and dysfunctional families, urged stakeholders in the fight against the menace to be more proactive in identifying new trends by stepping up intelligence gathering to stem the tide of human trafficking in Nigeria.