KADUNA (Nigeria) – Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA), has announced plans to establish Anti-Human Trafficking clubs in secondary schools across Nigeria to tame the spread of the menace. Tagged IMAP, the club will sensitise students against tricks used by fraudsters who deceive parents and young girls alike through enticement of juicy job opportunities outside Nigeria, or their comfort zones.
Speaking at a sensitization programme among students in Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria, Program Officer of PRAWA Ogu Ogechi said IMAP would centre on God embedded potential in individuals, emphasising that one could achieve his/her God given potentials even in Nigeria without leaving the shores of the country.
Ogechi said PRAWA has gone far in sensitising and mobilising young Nigerian girls against being trafficked, adding that the organisation is awaiting approval from Kaduna State Ministry of Education for commencement of IMAP in the state.
Speaking in the same vein, Executive Director of Gender Trust Awareness, Dr. Lydia Umar who described human trafficking as a societal ill, said all hands must be on deck to end it.
She lamented that Kaduna is among the five states with highest prevalence in human trafficking and child labour – where a large number of school-aged children are on the street hawking instead of being in school.
“When you talk of trafficking very often people just think about people that are taken to Italy, Sweden and other places. But really when you think about trafficking within, then of course, Kaduna is guilty, because I will just challenge you to go to any motor parks now and see the school age young boys and girls that are busy doing child labour.
“According to the United Nations, anybody below 18 years is still a child and is not supposed to engage in any labour that fetched money, but that is what we see around us. It is just next societal ill to street begging we have in Kaduna State,” she said.
She called for the arrest and prosecution of intermediaries and women who engaged in the illegal practice saying, “if the law is to catch up with anybody it is the middlemen and women who go to the rural areas to pack this girls and go to distribute them in Abuja and elsewhere. They are engaged in illegal practice and should be arrested and prosecuted.
“The communities too need to be sensitized because the children may not be aware or have little or no knowledge when their parents are negotiating on how to give them out.
“The message here is also to enlighten the children and parents so that when anybody come and entice them with anything, greener pasture and more money out there or you will have a good time. “Let’s just begin to talk to them so that they will understand that the end result is not what they think. Many of them have died, contacted HIV/AIDs and are battling with it,” Dr. Umar stated.
Principal of Government Girls Secondary School, Ungwan Sarki, Kaduna, one of the sensitization venues, Hajiya Bilikisu Aliyu described the sensitization programme as a welcome idea and a right step in a right direction which will expose the girls to tricks and dangers involved in human trafficking.