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NAPTIP Plans Anti-trafficking Vanguards In 50 Delta Schools — DG

Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi, Director General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), has disclosed plans to boost the campaign against the societal ill with increased sensitisation in secondary schools.
She announced plans to inaugurate Anti-Human Trafficking and Violence Against Persons Vanguards in 50 secondary schools in Delta.
The NAPTIP boss disclosed this at a one-day Stakeholders Workshop for the Validation of the Baseline Report on Human Trafficking, on Friday, in Asaba.
She was represented by Mr Josiah Emerole, Director, Intelligence, Research and Programme Department of the Agency.
Waziri-Azi said that the workshop was part of the Schools Anti-Trafficking Education and Advocacy Project (STEAP).
According to her, the STEAP project is being implemented by NAPTIP in collaboration with the  International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and is funded by the  Kingdom  of  Netherlands.
“Part of the STEAP project is supporting NAPTIP and ICMPD to inaugurate anti-human trafficking and violence against persons vanguards in 50 secondary schools in each of the five project states: Delta, Edo, Enugu, Benue and Ogun.
“We have been setting up vanguards, especially in the Federal Government Colleges, military and private schools, but under this project, we are now heading to public schools in the states.
“This will help the children understand it properly and to also deepen the infusion that has already been done in the curriculum of Basic and Secondary School education in Nigeria,” she said.
She noted that the exercise would help  to deepen the fight against human trafficking, especially the prevention aspect.
“This STEAP project is also aimed at deepening what we did in the past, NAPTIP and ICMPD working with the Federal Ministry of Education and other stakeholders to infuse trafficking in persons into the curricula of the basic and secondary eduction,” she said.
She noted that the fight against human trafficking should be collective, to ensure that the battle was won.
“The fight is not that of the federal or state governments alone but for everyone, because a child that is trafficked belongs to a family, community and the state.
“So, we must all work together to ensure that the young ones are safe; this is because the rate at which the victims are shipped out, internally or externally abroad, is worrisome.
“These are the future leaders of the country and many of them have died because we are letting them be destroyed by criminal gangs.
“So, what we are saying here is that with the STEAP project, the time is up for criminal gangs; everybody, especially the young population, will understand the tricks of the traffickers,” she said.
She noted that with knowledge, the younger generation would resist the traffickers and say no to their offers and promises.
In a remark, Head, West Africa Region ICMPD, Mojisola Sodeinde, represented by Rhoda Dia-Johnson, Project Manger, STEAP, said stakeholders’ commitment was fundamental to the success of STEAP.
“The necessity of this project cannot be overstated. With over 75 per cent of trafficking victims in West Africa being minors, the urgency of our mission is clear.
” Our collective goal is to embed a strong educational framework within our schools that not only informs and protects our students but also empowers them to be vigilant guardians of their own futures.
“ICMPD is an inter-governmental organisation with headquarters in Vienna, Austria with 20 member states,”
Sodeinde said.
In a goodwill message,  Delta Attorney-General and Head, State Task Force on Human Trafficking and Irregular Migration, Ekemejero Ohwovoriole, lauded the stakeholders and the financiers of the project.
Represented by Ijoma Nwanze, task force Secretary, Ohwovoriole said that the workshop was a testament of the commitment to protect the younger generation from human traffickers.
“I am, therefore, glad that Delta is one of the five states selected for the STEAP Project,” he said.
On her part, State Commissioner for Secondary Education, Mrs Rose Ezewu,
described human trafficking as heinous crime against humanity.
She was represented by Mrs Winifred Ighavbota, Director, Ministry of Basic Education.
She said that measures were put in place to regulate access to schools in the state, while assuring of the ministry’s support to end human trafficking in the state.(NAN)

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