The Devatop Centre for Africa Development has commended the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for supporting its radio programme on anti-human trafficking and Gender Based Violence (GBV).
Devatop, the pioneer of the “Talkam’’ advocacy pidgin English programme on radio, made the commendation on Tuesday in Abuja, at the unveiling of the Talkam short films on human trafficking and GBV.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme is broadcast every Saturdays and Sundays by 5 p.m on Cool FM 96.9 Abuja and Wazobia 99.5 FM Abuja since 2018 to date.
The programme is designed to champion the course of human rights promotion, report and support the reduction of trafficking cases, combating GBV and other domestic violence.
The Executive Director of the Devatop, Mr Joseph Osuigwe, hailed NAPTIP over its work on curbing human trafficking and violence against persons, adding that the centre will continue to maintain a sustainable partnership with the agency.
He said that Devatop had maintained a sustainable partnership with NAPTIP within the past seven years of its existence, and that this has had a positive impact on the work of the organisation.
“The history of Devatop Centre for Africa Development will not be complete without mentioning the impactful role NAPTIP has played in our various projects.
“The agency has been there for us when we started Devatop and has continued to stand with us on our Talkam human rights project.
“It is certain that combating human trafficking requires creative approach which include the use of media and technology.
“In fact, films are instrumental in sensitising citizens, shaping their thoughts and can help in breaking the culture of silence towards human trafficking and gender-based violence,’’ he stressed.
Osuigwe said that the short films (skit), which was produced by Devatop with the support of NAPTIP, portray the dangers of human trafficking and GBV, and to break the culture of silence by encouraging viewers to report incidences.
He said that the project was also supported by the US Embassy in Nigeria, Pamplona City Council and Accion Contra La Trata in Spain.
He disclosed that with the Talkam project, Devatop had worked with NAPTIP and other relevant partners to sensitise over 3,500 citizens through the radio programme, trained and mentored 275 human rights advocates across 20 states, as well as responded to 103 human rights abuses.
He also acknowledged the support of other partners and encouraged them to continue to do more.
Responding, the NAPTIP Director General, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, welcome the unveiling of the drama skit, adding that it is a great pleasure for the agency to be part of the project, as well as Devatop Talkam project.
NAN reports that the director-general, who was represented by Mr Josiah Emerole, the Director of Public Enlightenment, congratulated Devatop for the successful completion of the drama project, with the support of the United States Mission in Nigeria.
Waziri-Azi disclosed that the agency supported the production of the short drama skit because of the importance the agency attached to drama as a means of awareness creation provided in the NAPTIP mandate.
She disclosed that since she assumed office in September 2021, she had repositioned the drama club of the agency by reloading it to function well in awareness creation, against human trafficking and Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).
“The importance of drama and skit in creating awareness on any issue including human trafficking and SGBV cannot be over-emphasised. They are very powerful tools in changing behaviours as well as selling any idea to the people.
“Over the years, performing arts or drama has been found to be a veritable prevention strategy in countering trafficking and migrant smuggling, because drama is entertaining and educating just as it is used to mirror the society,“ she said.
She expressed hope that when the skit drama hits the public, many people would be bold enough to speak out about human trafficking and SGBV, and the culture of silence would be broken. (NAN)