NAPTIP Lauds Air Peace over Fight against Human Trafficking

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Director General of NAPTIP, Julie Dame Okah-Donli
  • UNILAG students develop software to unmask traffickers

Bennett Oghifo and Chinedu Eze

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has urged other domestic airlines to emulate Air Peace, which has shown commitment in curbing human trafficking in Nigeria.

This is coming as three students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) have developed software to unmask human traffickers as well as track and rescue victims while also creating awareness about the odious industry.

NAPTIP said Air Peace has always identified and notified concerned agencies about traffickers on its fights.

Speaking thursday during an award presentation ceremony to Air Peace in Lagos, Director General of NAPTIP, Julie Dame Okah-Donli, said the event was to honour the patriotic and humane action of men and women who operated on Air Peace Lagos-Banjul flight P47560 on June 4, 2018, and three other flight incidents where human trafficking was aborted.

Okah-Donli recalled that on that fateful day, the vigilant crew of Air Peace flight foiled an attempt by two Nigerian women to traffic a three-month-old baby boy from Nigeria to Banjul in The Gambia.

““If all airlines and transport companies were as vigilant as Air Peace, the stories of those Nigerians who are currently trapped in sex and labour slavery along West African Coast, in the hot deserts of North Africa and the by-way to Europe would be very different.

Also speaking at the occasion, Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, commended the agency for the recognition and award and its efforts to address the issue of human trafficking.

Meanwhile, three students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) have developed software to unmask human traffickers, track and rescue victims as well as creating awareness about the ‘odious’ industry.

According to a statement issued yesterday by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the students emerged winners of Hackathon for Justice at an event organised in Lagos by the UNODC in partnership with Facebook and Africa TeenGeeks, which was designed to spark creativity in young people while pushing their coding capabilities for 24 hours.

According to the organisation, “The goal of the Hackathon was for participants to leverage on technology to find solutions to rule of law challenges in the areas of corruption, integrity and ethics; crime prevention and criminal justice; organised crime; human trafficking, terrorism and violent extremism. Beyond educating young people about the global challenges to the rule of law, E4J also seeks to inspire them to be part of their solution and become positive agents of change in their societies. This goal is only attainable by giving youths a say in matters related to
crime, justice and the rule of
law.”

The trio of David Popoola, Eyitayo Ogunbiyi and Chukwudumebi Onwuli of System Engineering and Computer Engineering departments of the university led the pack of upcoming professionals with their web application design that helps both trafficked victims and their loved ones learn about human trafficking and access to tools that can potentially save them.

Tagged: ‘Let’s Fight Trafficking’ or ‘TFL’ for short, the key features of the product include an e-learning planning platform to help educate people on human trafficking; a facial recognition system that matches feed from webcams and other images to see if there already exists a reported case with a similar image in the database; a portal for victim’s close friends to come file reports about trafficking cases in their area and a heat map, generated from report data to let users know where trafficking is most prevalent and take preventive measures.

The winners are expected to proceed to Global Hackathon for Justice to be held at the Google Headquarters in Silicon Valley, in the United States in August where they will participate as mentors.