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By Adedapo Adesanya

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has launched a four-day intensive training for its members on anti-trafficking efforts.

The bootcamp was organized for the State Task Force in collaboration with the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policy (FIIAPP).

FIIAPP is a Spanish public foundation that promotes Action against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (A-TIPSOM) in Nigeria, a project funded by the European Union (EU).

Declaring the four-day Bootcamp open, the Director General of NAPTIP, Ms. Fatima Waziri-Azi, explained that the working group was a strategic instrument that NAPTIP has adopted to mobilize anti-trafficking efforts at the subnational level.

Ms. Waziri-Azi said the anti-trafficking initiative is a component of the agency’s outreach strategy, aimed at gaining support from key stakeholders and partners.

“The purpose of the bootcamp is to prepare task force members to learn coding and various antics that traffickers use to lure their victims day in and day out.

“Over the years, these traffickers have always used online platforms to lure their victims, but with the emergence of COVID-19, they have switched to different methods as the virus has driven digital transformation.

“The traffickers are coming out with different antics as they have now moved from online to offline, adding that NAPTIP would also not rely on its oars to combat the threat.

“We have seen an increase in fake advertising scholarships that traffickers are now posting on social media to lure people in.

“For us, as the crime of human trafficking evolves, we must also rise to the occasion, late last year we partnered with Facebook and that partnership gave us access to thousands of information about online trafficking, child exploitation and sextortion.

“We now have a growing trend of sextortion where people trick other people into sharing a naked photo of themselves and use that to blackmail their victims, that’s an area we’re working on,” said she declared.

The chief executive said the agency has entered into a partnership with Facebook.

“Very soon NAPTIP will launch the Alert which will be the second in Africa, it’s just a way to have a good report of buying and selling children.

“The initiative is to improve rapid response, investigation and prosecution, with this, NAPTIP will receive alerts when a child is reported adopted, the alert will then be shared on Facebook in the vicinity where the child has was last seen,” she said.