Social media has been an important tool in creating awareness and sparking activism around human trafficking and irregular migration. Victims and vulnerable group have come forward in droves to speak up through social media platforms.
Unfortunately, social media has also opened new avenues for traffickers and human smugglers to recruit victims. Traffickers often groom and control their victims through online platforms. Recruiting victims online is generally much less risky than recruiting victims in person. Sometimes when victims are recruited through social media sites, they never even meet their traffickers in person.
Social media has a significant role to play in boosting awareness on human trafficking. With millions of Nigerians, especially young people very active on social media, it is ideal to reach them with these platforms
To improve the capacity of the Law Enforcement Agencies and the CSOs involved in the project on the use of social media in tackling trafficking in persons (TIP) and smuggling of migrants (SOM), the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policy (FIIAPP) on 12th and 13th January 2021, held Strategic Planning Workshop in Keffi, Nasarawa State, on the Use of Social Media in tackling these scourges.
The workshop was officially declared open by the newly appointed Director-General of NAPTIP, Mrs. Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, who appreciated FIIAPP and European Union for their support and collaboration.
Speaking at the event, the Senior Project Officer Mr. Joseph Sanwo, who represented the A-TIPSOM Team Leader Mr. Rafael Rios, said that through this workshop, the capacity of A-TIPSOM beneficiaries’ social media handlers will be developed on how to effectively and efficiently use the social media to reach out to masses thereby, reducing the incidences of TIP and SOM in Nigeria.
Participants which included social media handlers of National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Police Force and Network of CSOs Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL) and other media professionals developed an annual Social Media Strategic Plan which will serve as a working document for and to provide an opportunity for participating organizations’ anti-trafficking specialists to meet, synergize, collaborate and promote better sharing of information and good practices.
The workshop was part of the Action Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (A-TIPSOM) Project, funded by the European Union and implemented by FIIAPP. The project began in 2018, through an agreement between the European Union (EU) and the Government of Nigeria, with the objective to reduce the trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, at national, regional and international level, and between Nigeria and the European Union, with specific emphasis in women and children, working with main Nigerian agencies, such as NAPTIP, NIS, NPF and NACTAL.
Further news on the workshop can be found on social media in the following links:
Joseph Chidiebere Osuigwe
Consultant, Communication and Awareness Raising,