The National Agency for the Protection of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has lamented that traffickers are now using technology to recruit victims online through dating sites, social media platforms, fake advertisement, fake scholarship and non-existing football clubs, among others.
Edo State Commander, Benin Zonal office of the National Agency for the Protection of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP),
Nduka Nwanene, disclosed this in Benin, while speaking with newsmen on the 2022 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons with the theme: “Use and Abuse of Technology”.
He said despite the negative effect, technology has also given victims and the public the opportunity to report cases of human trafficking, easy identification of victims and assists in investigation and prosecution of traffickers among others.
Nwanene said the agency arrested 28 traffickers and rescued 69 victims in Edo, Delta and Bayelsa states between January and July.
He further disclosed that internal trafficking (state and inter-state) is on the high side in Nigeria compared to external trafficking.
He said in addressing the scourge of online trafficking, NAPTIP has partnered Facebook and National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to enhance tracing and investigation of cases relating to online child abuse, human trafficking and other related crimes.
According to him, due to the increase in state and inter-state trafficking, buying and selling of children and cryptic pregnancies, NAPTIP is partnering with Facebook and NCMEC to set up Amber Alert Nigeria, whereby Facebook set alerts to target Facebook communities to help find missing children in Nigeria.
He said: “Between January and July 28, we arrested 28 traffickers, rescued 69 victims and rehabilitated 15. We also recorded 110 reported cases of human trafficking in Edo, Delta and Bayelsa states under the zone.
“The agency also has secured the conviction of four persons, while 57 cases are all ongoing in various courts.
“80 per cent of trafficking in Nigeria are state and inter-states while about 20 per cent are international (country to country). These inter-state trafficking affects our homes, communities and neighborhood all hands must be on deck to address the scourge.”