The Human Development Initiatives (HDI), a Non-governmental organization working to protect the rights of Nigerians particularly women and children, has called for collaborative efforts among relevant stakeholders to raise voices, create awareness and act to protect the vulnerable; report exploitation and slavery-like activities, towards addressing the growing menace of human trafficking in Nigeria.
In a statement issued in commemoration of the International Day against Trafficking in Persons, and signed by its Executive Director, Mrs. Olufuso Owasanoye, the organization noted that all hands must be on deck to fight against modern-day slavery which is human trafficking.
Identifying different trafficking approaches, Mrs. Owasanoye noted that modern-day slavery includes sexual slavery and exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude, forced marriage, sale and purchase of persons, and organ harvesting among others.
Themed “Use and abuse of technology by human traffickers”, HDI explained that the commemoration “exposes how traffickers exploit technology to perpetrate their illegitimate trade. They employ the internet and digital platforms to deceive, exploit and manipulate victims of trafficking. They deploy these platforms to organize transportation and shelter, contact victims, and reach out to potential clients while establishing intractable networks for the proliferation of their criminal trade.
“Technology has been exploited among other things to communicate with a ring of other perpetrators and hide criminal proceeds with greater speed, effectiveness, and anonymity”.
HDI Nigeria reinforces its determination and commitment to combating all forms of exploitation as far as human trafficking and other allied anti-human ventures are concerned.
The group thereafter appealed to all concerned stakeholders “to join hands as we do our very best to protect the rights of all Nigerians (who are potential victims) and contribute our quota to protecting survivors, prevent stigmatization, ensure access to justice, to health care and prevent further abuse and exploitation of survivors of trafficking.”