The Director General, National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Dr. Fatima Waziri–Azi, has made case for collaboration and partnership between the media and other stakeholders in the fight against trafficking in persons in Nigeria.
The agency boss stated this while declaring open a Three-Day Training and Capacity Development Orientation, Development Of Standard Reporting Template For Members Of The Trafficking In Persons Media Core And Officers Of Press And Public Relations Unit, Wednesday in Keffi, Nasarawa state.
Waziri-Azi was represented by NAPTIP Director, Training and Manpower Development, Mr. Arinze Orakwe, at the workshop organised by the European Union (EU) sponsored Fight Against Human Trafficking (FIIAP), though the Action Against Trafficking In Persons and Struggking of Migranys In Nigeria (A-TIPSOM) project.
According to her, “The media occupy a principle position in NAPTIP’s work and the workshop is a result of the agency’s commitment to training journalists as well as a fulfilment of promises made.”
Speaking further, she said trafficking in persons was organised and clandestine crime hence the need for the fight against the crime to be organised and even more sophisticated.
“There is no better group for collaboration than the media. So long as criminals collaborate to commit crime it behooves on NAPTIP to seek collaboration. I urge the media to key into this partnership. We intend to expand the partnership.
“Trafficking in persons is a crime that shames us all just as it is the highest money spinner, not that you should invest in it because NAPTIP will catch up with you. It is the highest money spinner because you sell the person over and over again.
“As journalists, it behooves on us to be circumspect and tactical in terms of terminology for reportage. For instance what we refer to as ritual in the media are not always rituals.”
He expressed optimism that participants would, among others, be exposed to terminologies used by traffickers so they can be put in proper perspective and not be hoodwinked to use terms that deodorise crimes and do their stories better.
On his part, the Service Public Relations Officer for the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Amos Okpu, in a goodwill message described the workshop as a great opportunity for the media and the field officers to bridge the gap that exist in the cause of discharging their duties.
Okpu, while lauding the organisers of the workshop, urged participants to remain conscious of the fact that those who are involved in trafficking in persons and other forms of irregular migration were the common enemies.
Similarly, representatives of the Nigeria Police Force, CSP Eremie Ngosidima, of the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, Firce Criminal Investigative Unit (FCID), made case for the use of social media for sensitisation and propagation against trafficking in persons.
Ngosidima, who noted that criminals involved in trafficking in persons were evolving ways to beat law enforcement, tasked participants on the need to innovate mechanisms of beating the criminals.
On his part, Senior Project Officer/Technical Advisor on Prevention, A-TIPSON, Joseph Olusegun Sanwo, stated that the workshop was important to FIIAPP and the EU as it concerns prevention through sensitisation especially at the grassroots where people are more vulnerable.
He expressed hope that the workshop would enable journalists effectively report trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.