By Blessing Bature-Akpakpan, Abuja
A non governmental organisation, Africa Youth Growth Foundation (AYGF) has decried the incessant death of Nigerians on the Mediterranean Sea and desert as a result of irregular migration to Europe.
During a press briefing yesterday in Abuja on the launch of the Migration Information Communication Campaign (MICC), with the support of the Federal Republic of Germany Foreign Office, the executive director of AYGF, Dr Arome Salifu, said the campaign is designed primarily to contribute to reduction in the incidences of irregular migration and human trafficking in Nigeria through strategic and aggressive advocacies and innovative media engagements.
He said: “Nigeria is a source, transit and destination country when it comes to human trafficking. Per the latest Global Slavery Index (2018) Report, Nigeria ranks 32/167 of the countries with the highest number of slaves – 1,386,000 – and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) reports that the average age of trafficked children in Nigeria is 15, ranked a Tier 2 Watch list country on the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking-In-Persons Report (2018).
“The Migration Information and Communication Campaign (MICC) Project is one designed primarily to contribute to reduction in the incidences of irregular migration and human trafficking in Nigeria through strategic and aggressive advocacies and innovative media engagements.
He said, we seeks to deliver improved awareness and higher level of understanding on dangers and implications of irregular migration and human trafficking (TIP and SOM) in the country, particularly the target locations (Edo state and FCT), it is primarily targeted at young people between 12-35 of age. However, there are secondary targets such as the traditional, religious, political, women and youth groups, organizations and their leaders.
“We will engage minimum of 50 institutional stakeholders and more than one million people across social media platforms, with more than 2 million people targeted through newspapers, radio, TV and other traditional media platforms. Also, our online debate/essay competitions will be targeted at more than 600 participants.
“On the medium and long-term basis, the project would help in the reduction in the number of human trafficking, slave camps and forced labour at countries of origin, transit and destination. The success of the MICC Project is strongly determined by the collective efforts of all the stakeholders. Accordingly, AYGF call on the stakeholders including the government, media, donors and civil society organisations to support the campaign to end irregular migration and human trafficking in Nigeria.”
Also speaking, the DG of National Agency for the prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Julie Dora-Okah represented by the director training and man-power development, Mr oluiyi Olusayo,
“We want to congratulate this group for coming up with this campaign. It is one of the ways to complement the efforts of NAPTIP in combating child trafficking. As you know, we can’t do it alone, hence our emphasis on partnership. We like this kind of partnership. If other organisations can emulate AYGF, it will go a long way in helping us achieve our mandate,” she said.