Conceived by human rights activist and journalist Philip Obaji Jr., the Up Against Trafficking campaign focuses on spreading awareness of the pertinent human trafficking epidemic in Nigeria and surrounding regions.
Run by the Caprecon Foundation and approved by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), the campaign is comprised of at least 11 sex trafficking survivors.
They will travel to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in northeast Nigeria and talk to other internally-displaced women about the dangers and signs of exploitation by potential human trafficking agents.
The campaign came after years of documenting and reporting the education crisis – a result of oppressive groups like Boko Haram. In that time, Obaji provided a medium for the voices of victims who had been abducted or to those whose communities had been affected by the militant groups.
Now, Obaji is shining the light on one of the most prevalent human exploitation crises. Just between 2008 and 2016, the number of identified human trafficking victims had doubled from 30,961 to 66,520.
Social stigmas, confusion between migrant work and trafficking, and general unawareness are all contributors to the crisis.
“To be able keep the project going, we have set up a Go Fund Me account to raise funds for the campaign,” Obaji told NYMM. “Funds raised will mainly be used to support survivors of human trafficking as they seek to rebuild their lives.”
Funds will also be used to provide education and training to displaced persons, law enforcement, government officials, and community groups on what defines human trafficking, the local prevalence of the issue, and how to identify and assist victims and survivors.
“Through an electric-powered borehole, we have started to provide clean water to internally displaced persons in Madinatu to reduce the risk of encountering human traffickers, as we noticed that some victims were approached by traffickers while walking long distance in search of clean water,” Obaji said. “We plan expand our water provision support to reach more displaced persons in the region, but will only be able to do so if we raise adequate funds.”
It is clear that to combat the epidemic of human trafficking, minimizing potential ways traffickers can exploit women and children is key. By providing aid, communities can begin to lower the rate of the humanitarian crisis that is currently plaguing Nigeria.
NYMM proudly stands behind Obaji in support of the incredible work being done to both educate on the issue of human trafficking and support victims in and around Nigeria. A donation of any amount makes you an active part of the fight against human trafficking by providing the resources necessary to do this crucial work. With heroes like Philip Obaji in the world, we can always count on the good in humanity to combat the evil.
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