The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), and other agencies, have taken the war against human trafficking to schools.
The inauguration of the programme took place at the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Basic School, Wuse ll, Abuja.
Addressing the pupils, the Director-General (D-G), of NAPTIP, Dr Fatima Waziri–Azi, said the agency had already produced a curriculum for schools.
Waziri-Azi, who was represented by Mr Yasir Aminu-Bello, a Principal Officer at the agency, said the curriculum was aimed at educating the young ones about the dynamics and dangers of human trafficking.
She explained that the curriculum was also to protect them from falling victims of human trafficking.
The NAPTIP D-G, advised the children to be watchful and always seek help when approached by any suspicious persons.
Speaking at the event, Mr Josephat Abaagu, the Chairman of the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), an NGO, said sensitising basic and senior secondary schools on human trafficking, had become imperative.
Abaagu was also represented by Mr Timothy Ejeh, Programmes Director of the commission,
The chairman explained that JDPC and other partners were in the school to create awareness on the dangers of human trafficking on school children and other vulnerable persons.
“We are here to let the Children know the signs, dangers and indicators; as they could draw the attention of their parents, siblings, teachers or security agencies, if suspicious of anyone,” he said.
Mrs Blessing Waziri of the Network Against Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL), also an NGO, said her organisation was exploring effective ways of creating awareness on the dangers of human trafficking on youths.
Waziri therefore, said creating awareness from schools was one of such.
She appealed to the pupils not to allow their friends take them to unknown places without their parents’ approval.
She commended the NAPTIP for developing the curriculum, manual for staff and other law enforcement agencies, and expressed optimism that it would effectively tackle the menace of human trafficking.
According to Mrs Chito Anaekwe, an official of the Catholic Action Committee on HIV/AIDS (CACA), human trafficking, which has been effectively mainstreamed into school curricular, would benefit young people when it takes effect.
On her part, Victoria Aigbe, an Assistant Superintendent of Corps, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), FCT Command, said educating young people on the challenges and dangers of migration was a laudable idea.
Aigbe advised pupils to be security conscious of some offers of better education or training abroad.
“Sometimes your parents, teachers and friends are involved, and if you are not sure of what to do or where to go to, just report to any security agency,” she said.
She advised them not to be afraid of reporting such matters as their lives would be saved and they would be adequately protected.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event also featured an awareness walk around Wuse ll.
The programme, which was sponsored by USAID, is being facilitated by Palladium, an NGO.
Members of the Action Against Trafficking in Persons Cluster are the JDPC, CEDARSEED Foundation, Health/Justice Development and Peace Initiative, FOMWAN, Earthspring International and CACA.