ICIR-supported radio programme against human trafficking commences

By Rosemary Olufemi

THE effects of human trafficking pose a huge threat to Nigeria as the number of persons being trafficked for one purpose or another continues to rise across many states and regions of the country.

This was the position of Joseph Osuigwe, Executive Director of Devatop Centre for Africa Development, a non-governmental organization dedicated to combating human trafficking and female genital mutilation in Nigeria, during the first episode of a radio programme tagged ‘TALKAM’,( a pidgin English expression that means ‘Say it’).

The TALKAM radio program which airs every Friday by 10 am on Human Rights Radio 101.1 FM, Abuja, is aimed at creating awareness on the rising incidences of human trafficking, as well as exploring ways of tackling it.

The radio programme is a collaboration between Devatop and Human Rights Radio, with support from the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR).

According to Osigwe, many Nigerians assume that human trafficking only happens in states like Edo or Delta, and only involves ladies travelling to Italy and other European countries to be engaged as commercial sex workers.

“Human trafficking is bigger than what we think, closer to us than we imagine, and happens in every state. In fact, what people think of human trafficking is just a tip of an iceberg compared to what is the actual fact” Osigwe said.

Watch the first episode of the TALKAM radio programme below.

    Also speaking during the programme, Cynthia Ifeanyi, the Administrative Officer with DEVATOP, said the aim of the radio programme is to educate listeners that human trafficking can happen anywhere in Nigeria and can affect any family. It is also to enlighten listeners on the myth and truth about human trafficking in Nigeria, as well as stimulate the general public to speak out and take action against human trafficking.

    Ms. Ifeanyi clarified that contrary to the general belief that only poor people living in rural areas fall victim to human traffickers, even the relatively rich and well-to-do persons can be trafficked.

    Also, men and boys can fall victim of human trafficking, as well as the female gender, and human trafficking does not only occur when people are taken outside Nigeria. It can occur within the country, from rural to urban areas.

    Other guest speakers at the radio program were Arinze Orakwue, the spokesperson of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and Sanusi Imagbon, Executive Director, Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF).

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