World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2022: Prevent, Protect and Prosecute
Abuja - July 30th marks the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (WDATIP). A day set aside to raise awareness of the plight of human trafficking victims and to promote and protect their rights. Trafficking in Persons (TIP) is a crime and grave human rights violation of enormous scale, which is prevalent in situations of vulnerability.
This year, IOM will be marking this day under the theme Prevent, Protect and Prosecute to highlight the need for action and the importance of having an integrated approach in addressing trafficking.
IOM takes a comprehensive approach to addressing Trafficking in Persons. Advocating for rights, and protecting the physical, mental, and social well-being of individuals and their communities; and promoting sustainability through institutional capacity development and partnerships, are at the centre of the Organization’s counter-trafficking efforts.
This theme is at the centre of the institutional approach in combating trafficking and protecting the rights of migrants (through the Theory of Change.)
“Nigeria is an important locus as a source, transit, and destination country in the trafficking process. Several push and pull factors have been identified as catalysts for TiP. The country’s current macro-economic environment, rapid population growth and limited investment in social services have had devastating effects and increased the vulnerability of most of its citizens”, said Prestage Murima IOM Nigeria Chief of Mission a.i.
IOM operates from the outset that trafficking in persons needs to be approached within the overall context of managing migration for the benefit of all with interventions centered on the needs of the victims.
Since 2017, IOM Nigeria has coordinated the return of over 27,000 Nigerian migrants from 82 countries. Out of this number, 3,599 are victims of trafficking. 1,726 VoTs have received in-kind support to start businesses of their choice.
The Organization also joins the United Nations System and the Federal to raise awareness under the global theme "Use and abuse of technology", since technology is a tool that can both enable and impede human trafficking. IOM interprets this theme in terms of how technology can be harnessed as a preventive tool and for facilitating protection.
The increasing use of technology post the COVID-19 pandemic has enabled human trafficking with numerous tricks deployed and with greater speed, accuracy, and anonymity; to recruit, exploit, and control victims; organize their transport and accommodation; advertise victims and reach out to potential clients; communicate among perpetrators; and hide criminal proceeds. Traffickers use social media to identify, groom and recruit victims, including children; e-mails and messaging services are used for the moral coercion of the victims; and online platforms allow traffickers to widely advertise services provided by victims.
Persons seeking better economic opportunities, asylum seekers and refugees fleeing crisis are vulnerable to the risk of trafficking with traffickers profiting from the desperation, and separation of people – particularly women and children - from support systems and family members.
However, in the use of technology also lies great opportunity. Future success in eradicating human trafficking will depend on how law enforcement, the criminal justice systems and protection actors can leverage technology in their responses, by aiding investigations to shed light on the modus operandi of trafficking networks; enhancing prosecutions through digital evidence to alleviate the situation of victims in criminal proceedings; and providing support services to survivors.
Only with a concerted effort by governments, the international community, and above all the local communities, can we fight back human trafficking.
On this World Day against Trafficking in Persons, have a heart for the victims of human trafficking and join the campaign, we all have a role to play in ending human trafficking.
For more information, contact Mariam Owoeye, Senior Communications Assistant, at firstname.lastname@example.org.