Online sexual exploitation: NAPTIP sets up cybersecurity response team

THE National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has established a Cybersecurity Response Team (CRT) to tackle online sexual exploitation and abuse in Nigeria.

The team was set up on Thursday, April 20, in Abuja, and Director-General (DG) of the agency Fatima Waziri-Azi charged its operatives to increase intelligence and undercover operations against exploitation of vulnerable citizens across the country.

Waziri-Azi stated that cyber attackers face minimal risk compared to that experienced by their targets, hence the need for efforts by the Agency to challenge the issue.

“We have seen incremental cases of Child Sexual Assault materials on the internet, child pornography, sextortion, and revenge porn, and these are all forms of sexual exploitation which is why as an Agency, we must take a proactive and collaborative approach to tackle online threats.



    “So, NAPTIP, in partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM), Meta, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Bureau (INLEB), National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and UNODC, has trained 20 Officers from our headquarters and zonal commands on Child Sexual Exploitation Materials, Open Source & Social Media Intelligence as well as Online Investigation.”

    She warned against sharing inappropriate content online, noting that perpetrators risk prosecution for sexual exploitation and extortion.

    Waziri-Azi also said the unit would be working closely with other stakeholders for a more effective response to online exploitation due to the rising spate of cyberattacks against individuals and public organisations.

    Online sexual exploitation and abuse have continued to surge with the growth of digital technology. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), children are particularly vulnerable and are more likely to fall victim to predators, who exploit the relative anonymity available online.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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