Commission launches Hashtags to drive anti human trafficking campaign 

By Margaret Tyam
The Justice Development and Peace Commission,Arch Diocese of Abuja has launched an advocacy campaign against human trafficking.
The campaign, supported by USAID Nigeria, Palladium and Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) Project, has the developed hashtags to drive the advocacy.
These include: #FundNAPTIP, #SayNoTo Human Trafficking, #ConfiscateTraffickingProceeds, designed to counter trafficking in persons objective.
The Chairman, Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), Mr Damian Dodo said trafficking in persons has gone beyond sexual exploitation and domestic servitude, to now include organ harvesting.
According to him, the launch of the hastags was meant to tackle the menace effectively.
He said insufficient funding, cultural beliefs, poverty and delay in securing justice for victims were the major factors militating against efforts to end human trafficking in the country.
Dodo who described human trafficking as a disgrace to humanity, said government had underfunded relevant agencies responsible for stemming the scourge.
He stressed the need for compensation to victims, increased funding of the focal government agency, prosecution of traffickers.
The chairman urged government to also activate the victims of trafficking trust fund.
Most Rev. Anslem Umoren, Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, who launched “FundNAPTIP hastags, called on government at all level to address issues of poverty, hunger and unemployment.
He said government should enhance spending on anti-trafficking efforts through NAPTIP, and adequately assist the victims.
Umoren said some of the victims require reintegration services, as such it’s important to upgrade the agency’s facilities and the capacity of staff.
He said that reports on the agency’s capacity has found NAPTIP to be severely under-funded, “especially in the areas of victim protection and prosecutions.
“We the Action Against trafficking in Persons cluster therefore, call for increased budgetary allocation and private sector intervention for the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP),” he said.
Mr Desmond Garba, Deputy Director Training and Manpower Development, who represented the D-G of NAPTIP,Dr Fatima Waziri – Azi,appreciated the efforts of JDPC solicited for more collaboration with other stakeholders.
According to her, all Nigerians are responsible for the advancement of humanity and should help put people who take advantage of those who can’t fight back to justice.
She said that no population was exempted from the ever-present threat of traffickers.
“Human traffickers are motivated by greed, driven by quota, devoid of respect for human rights, preying upon the vulnerable, also damaging the psychological and physical well-being of their victims.
Earlier, Mr Eric Umoru, Lead Adivisor SCALE, said that the campaign was to raise public awareness, fight for victims and ensure speedy prosecution of perpetrators of human trafficking.
“The hashtags will reinforce discussions with relevant stakeholders on our advocacy and will serve as a communication reference throughout the project cycle,” he added.
 Goodwill messages were presented by relevant government and security agencies, the media and civil society organisations.