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Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, NAPTIP and UNICEF launch a N35 million public awareness campaign on child trafficking

The partnership commits N35 million on a three month intensive campaign to stop child trafficking.

27 Septempber 2007 - The Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will launch a three month intensive campaign on child trafficking linked with birth registration starting from 1st October. The campaign is to raise awareness and educate the public on child trafficking, child economic exploitation and improve birth registration for all Nigerian children with a view to eliciting action by all stakeholders, including governments, private sector, civil society, media and parents.

Trafficking of children for the purpose of domestic service, prostitution and other forms of exploitative labour is a widespread phenomenon in Nigeria. Estimates indicate there are 15 million children engaged in child labour in Nigeria with 40% of them at the risk of being trafficked both internally and externally. Some of the reasons many Nigerian children are vulnerable to trafficking, include widespread poverty, large family size, and rapid urbanization, low literacy levels and high school-drop out rates. “The magnitude of child trafficking in Nigeria is worrisome. Children are victims of terrible abuses without any consideration for their rights and dignity,” says Robert Limlim, UNICEF Deputy Country Representative a.i. “We believe in the power of the media especially radio, to raise public awareness on this terrible menace of child trafficking. This campaign is a wake up call to all Nigerians. A lot more needs to be done and everyone should be mobilized,” he concludes.

Children are more easily trafficked when they do not hold any official identity which is conferred by registering them at birth. About 70 % of the 5 million children born annually in Nigeria are not registered, making them vulnerable. 

Working in close collaboration with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and UNICEF for the generation of content, the FRCN will use a mix of programme formats spots, jingles, drama, playlets, discussions, vox pops, magazines, special reports to convey key messages of the campaign and inform the public on issues related to child trafficking and birth registration. More than 21 hours of prime network airtime will be devoted to this campaign. “We consider it as part of our social responsibility to deploy considerable resources to combat the scourge of child trafficking which is as a threat to the future of this country’, says Ben Egbuna, Director General, Federal Radio Corporations of Nigeria.

This N35 million campaign will cover a broad range of issues in child trafficking and birth registration including the incidence, magnitude and causes of these phenomena, the national and international dimensions,  the issue of domestic girls, success stories such as rehabilitation of victims or prosecution of traffickers, prevention programmes for youth empowerment , the laws against trafficking and their implementation.

‘Do not be deceived by those who make false promises and paint a rosy future for your children, says one of the messages. ‘The streets of London, Rome, Paris, Lagos or Kano are not paved with gold. They are just out to exploit your children. The child belongs to the community. It is therefore our duty to protect them from traffickers.’

 

 
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