A Non Governmental Organization, CLEEN Foundation has embarked on a sensitization mission in secondary schools in Lagos on the dangers of human trafficking.
The students were played videos of victims of human traffivking sharing their experience and telling the viewers (students) how not to fall victims.
Speaking at a sensitization session at Ikeja Grammar School, Oshodi, Mrs Blessing Abiri, the Program Advisor, told the students that the stories they listened were real life stories of victims.
She said the stories were to teach the students how not to fall prey to traffickers who would deceive them that a better life is waiting for them somewhere.
“These stories are for you to learn, especially young girls among you. So that you do not fall into the hands of human traffickers through poverty of knowledge and that is why we are here today to let you know these things early.
“We are here to sensitise you so that you can also protect yourselves. Trafficker is not written on the head and it is usually people you know, this is why they can easily penetrate you.
“They will come to you and deceive you that they can take you to another place, state or a country where you will make more money but only to get there and be subjected to slavery.” she said.
Bella Akhagba, the CEO Bella Foundation For Child and Maternal Care also told the students to be wary of those who promise them greener pastures, adding that human trafficking destroys the future of young girls.
“You can be trafficked for several purposes if you are not enlightened to protect yourselves. It could be for slavery, child marriage or drugs smuggling.
“Victims are often subjected to rape, torture and every form of dehumanizing abuse just to make them carry out the act for which they were trafficked.
“Some victims even die during the journey of getting trafficked while some end up with Sexuallly Transmitted Diseases (STDs), physical and mental trauma, if at all they survive.” she said.
Elizabeth Ajeseni, a Public Enlightenment Officer with National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP) also spoke with the students on how to identify a trafficker.
Ajeseni said the traffickers are usually gentle personalities in the neighborhood who are caring and always claiming they can help you to a place or a country.
“These people could be the aunties or uncles in your neighborhood. Do not hesitate to report your parents so that they can alert the appropriate authority whenever you suspect anyone.” She said.
Ajeseni added that NAPTIP, aside enlightening the public on the dangers of human trafficking also arrest and prosecute traffickers while victims are rehabilitated at the shelter centers.