The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) revealed Monday, that its partnership with the most popular social media platform, Facebook in September 2021, has been helpful in keeping track of trafficking activities online.
Director-General of NAPTIP, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, while speaking at the unveiling of the agency’s plans to commemorate the 2022 World Day Against Human Trafficking in Abuja, said at least 70,000 reports and cases on online trafficking and sextortion were received from from the platform, most recently renamed “Meta.”
Waziri-Azi added that the partnership with Meta, has helped in the effective monitoring and eventual arrests of online traffickers who carry out their illicit activities across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
“As much as traffickers operate offline. They now operate online. Because online, there is no geographical boundary. In September last year, we went into partnership with Facebook and the National Centre for Exploited and Missing Children. And we did this because this partnership enables us to enhance tracing and diligent investigation in terms of cases relating to online child abuse, online human trafficking, and it gives us access to thousands of information.
“With that partnership, we now have access to information that is being shared on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. And since the commencement of this partnership, we’ve received over 70,000 reports that have to do with online trafficking and also sextortion.
“We’re now investigating our first sextortion case where a young boy used the nude photos of a young lady and was trading with this online. It took us two months for us to track and apprehend him.
The DG further stated that due to the alarming rise in cases of human trafficking in Nigeria, especially cases of missing children, another partnership with Facebook and the NCMEC was birthed.
The partnership which will serve as a way of curbing the trend of trading children, will be officially launched in September 2022.
She added that the partnership, named NAPTIP Alert, will work closely with Facebook to stop trafficking of all sorts, especially children, and also help in finding the missing ones.
“This partnership launching in September is what we call NAPTIP Alert. It is the second in Africa. The first was in South Africa.
“When a child has been abducted or declared missing, and that abduction is reported to NAPTIP, we now share the information with Facebook. Facebook now releases the photo of the child and the information of the child to the newsfeed of Facebook users within a 160km radius where the child has been declared missing or where the child was last seen,” she said.
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