The fight against Trafficking In Persons (TIP) has been expanded with the infusion of the subject into the curricula of primary and secondary schools.

The Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) Dame Julie Okah-Donli disclosed this on Wednesday in Lagos during the opening ceremony of a two-day sensitisation workshop for publishers and authors.

She said the essence of mainstreaming TIP issues into the curricula of schools in Nigeria was to deepen the prevention aspect of the agency’s work.

The DG stressed that with the knowledge of TIP issues and related crimes at early age by the pupils and students, “it becomes difficult for them to fall prey to traffickers and they also become vanguards against TIP.

“It is our conviction that we cannot win this battle  alone without  the collective support of the various  stakeholders  including children  who are usually  the target.

“The educators whose duty it is to mould the lives of the children in schools, and the authors and publishers who produce the materials used in teaching our children.

“It is unfortunate that despite NAPTIP’s achievement over time in form of enlightenment, partnership, prevention and prosecution, some of our beloved children, women and youths are still dating the dreaded Mediterranean sea and deserts.

“The infusion will be an effort in futility if the pupils and students do not have corresponding materials and texts to buttress the topics. This has necessitated this meeting, with the hope that authors and publishers would be adequately informed and sensitized about human trafficking, “ she said.

Okah-Donli commended the EU, ECOWAS for financial support through the Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa Project and International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).

The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), Professor Ismail Junaidu said that the burning desire to eradicate human trafficking in Nigeria led to the idea of infusing TIP issues into school curriculum.

“In line with this, NAPTIP and NERDC with support and sponsorship from ICMPD, EU and ECOWAS and other organizations critically identified and infused TIP issues and concepts into Basic and Senior Secondary curricula.

“The aims of the infusion, among others, are to: Create awareness on-the dangers of human trafficking in the society. Reduce or totally eliminate the incidence of human trafficking in Nigeria.

“The following are the carrier subjects in which TIP issues were infused: Basic Education :English studies, National Values (Social studies, Civic Education, Security Education); and Basic Science and Technology  (Physical and Health Education.

“Senior Secondary Education: English Language, Civic Education, Government and Healthy Education,” he said.