The Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM) has called for a review of strategies to include more capacity building and partnership with the media to combat human trafficking across the globe.
According to a statement signed by Ajibola Abayomi, President of the organisation, to mark the 2022 Human Trafficking Day, he said the present realities in the developed and developing nations showed that there was need to change various strategies being adopted to combat the criminal acts.
Ajibola argued that “flowing from the theme for 2022 which is the Use and Abuse of Technology, which primarily focuses on technology being a tool to proliferate human trafficking. We need not to debate the usual statistics on human trafficking now pointing towards increase in the numbers of human trafficking globally. With the paradigm majorly shifting to digital, the vulnerability of victims has increased.
“The stakeholders must intensify efforts to engage and empower the media with adequate data and information rather than the usual rehearsing of principles at different fora that usually ends with mere paper work.”
He was however quick to emphasize that the “Journalists must continue the frontline role to frustrate the recruitment, transfer, transportation, harbouring of persons by the use of threat, means of force, or other forms of coercion, deception, abduction, fraud, or abuse of power. Forced labour services, practices of slavery, sexual exploitation, among other forms combined are what accounts for exploitation.”
According to him, “The third world countries especially Nigeria in Africa must sustain impressive battle against human trafficking as being led by the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).”
He advised against third world countries allowing themselves to be deceived into believing “that trafficking of persons is only a major headache of Pakistan, Thailand, China, India, and Bangladesh that are in the top 10 for countries with the largest number of trafficking victims around the world.” Though he said that India is at the top of the list with 14 million victims, China comes in second with 3.2 million victims, and Pakistan comes in at third with 2.1 million victims”, he admonished leaders in other countries to ensure that they do not relax the rules against human trafficking.
The JIFORM President added that collaboration and healthy interface with the media should be central so as to encourage continuous agenda setting reports aimed at justice for the victims and bring perpetrators to book.
He said, “In advancing anti-human trafficking war, we must come to terms with the fact that perpetrators have found ways to be more organised and anonymous while committing this horrendous violation. Therefore journalists must redouble efforts to fight the crisis and raise awareness about being secured and protected while surfing across cyberspace and not fall victim to trafficking.”
He, however, assured of the readiness of the media to continue to support the war against human trafficking, stating that”We are so passionate about war against human trafficking, that is why the subject matter is a major point of discuss at our various local and international events this year.”
JIFORM established in 2019 will host its third global migration summit on migration between October 1-10, 2022 in Toronto Canada in partnership with Abedorc Productions Inc Canada, while its maiden intercontinental migration summit would be hosted by the Medger Evers College, City University, Brooklyn, USA between November 2-4.