The Edo State capital, Benin city was agog recently as scores of residents took to the main streets to sensitise people on the evil of human trafficking in the state.
The sensitisation, led by the Benin Zonal Commander of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Mr. Nduka Nwawenne, carried banners and placards with different inscriptions such as “Stop Human Trafficking”, “Say No to Human Trafficking” among others to mark the 2022 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
The campaigners, who were mostly young people and staff of the zonal command drawn from Edo, Delta and Bayelsa states danced to popular songs from truck mounted loud speakers, distributing leaflets and stickers which highlighted the dangers of human trafficking.
Speaking at the Benin Museum lawn at Ring Road, Nwawenne said that the theme of this year’s celebration “Use and Abuse of Technology”, was selected as traffickers now mostly use technology to recruit their potential victims.
He said that the agency decided to take the campaign to the streets in order to create awareness of the rising cases of human traffickers who now resort to the internet to lure their victims with promises of fame and a life of fortune abroad.
The zonal commander said that technology has helped in the recruitment of victims through online dating platforms; enabled and facilitated the posting of fake job advertisement, noting that it has also helped in facilitating the easy identification of victims and in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases.
He said: “Technology has helped to facilitate fake scholarships and adverts on non-existing football clubs; advertising and connecting victims to a wide range of customers through the internet for sexual services among other advantages.”
Western Boys High School, Benin, Edo State emerged the winner of the keenly contested school debate in the Benin Zonal Command followed by Idia College, Benin while Phelyn College, Benin took third position.