UP AGAINST TRAFFICKING
Run by Caprecon Development Foundation
Up Against Trafficking campaign is an initiative conceived by Journalist, Philip Obaji Jr., and run by Caprecon Development Foundation. Based in Maiduguri, Nigeria, the campaign aims at educating victims of the Boko Haram insurgency living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in northeastern Nigeria, and leaders in the communities hosting them, on what human trafficking is all about, and how to be aware of the signs of a trafficking victim. We also seek ways of assisting survivors of human trafficking as they seek to rebuild their lives.
Each year, thousands of women and children, many of whom live in IDP camps, are trafficked out of northeast Nigeria. The attention of traffickers operating in the region is mostly on women and girls, whom they recruit mainly for sexual exploitation. The victims are often taken to Europe, especially Italy, and to the Middle East and North Africa.
The persons driving this campaign are female survivors of human trafficking out of IDP camps. Having received the necessary education and training on what human trafficking is, and how to become aware of the signs of trafficking, these survivors are now moving from one camp to the other, reaching out to both their peers and leaders in the communities hosting them.
- 1,000,000 NIGERIANS
Are trafficked in the country annually
- 11,009 NIGERIAN WOMEN
Were trafficked to Italy alone in 2016.
- APPROXIMATELY 3 IN 10 FEMALE IDPs IN MADINATU, BORNO STATE
Admitted they were approached in 2017 by persons offering them jobs abroad.
(Ventures Africa, 2018)
- NEARLY ALL 13 IDP CAMPS AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES IN AND AROUND MAIDUGURI
Have had cases of sex trafficking
(U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report, 2017)
- RAISE AWARENESS
Raise awareness in IDP camps about human trafficking.
- PROVIDE EDUCATION
Provide education to displaced persons, law enforcement, government officials community groups, etc. on what defines human trafficking, the local prevalence of the issue, and how to identify and assist victims and survivors of human trafficking.
- ENGAGE WITH COMMUNITY
Engage with community and promote collaboration on human trafficking, including and identifying and assisting victims of human trafficking, providing training, and sharing information.
- SUPPORT SURVIVORS
Advocate for and support survivors of human trafficking as they seek to rebuild their lives and connect victims of human trafficking to organizations and agencies that are capable of meeting their needs.
Up Against Trafficking campaign was created by investigative journalist, Philip Obaji Jr., after he toured IDP camps in northeast Nigeria and discovered that children, especially girls, once enslaved by Boko Haram, a faction of which has pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State, are approached by human traffickers, and taken on a long and dangerous journey toward Europe, with many having to visit traditional ritual shrines for oath-taking rituals that bind them to their benefactors.
Many girls, who successfully cross the Mediterranean Sea, end up on the streets of Italy where they are forced to work as prostitutes until they pay off the debts they owe to their madams. Others remain in the continent where there are enslaved by criminal gangs in places like Libya and Niger. Some victims are also trafficked to the Middle East.
Early this year, Glory and Blessing, as we’ll call these two teenage girls in an IDP camp in Madinatu who were once kidnapped and raped by Boko Haram militants, were approached by an agent for a trafficking ring who promised them jobs as hairdressers in Italy. As they prepared to depart for Europe, they came across an article on The Daily Beast article written by Obaji that narrates how sex traffickers approach girls in IDP camps with promises of jobs in Europe but force them into prostitution once in Italy. The story got the girls terrified, and made them jettison their plans to travel.
The story of the two girls was instrumental in starting the Up Against Trafficking campaign, which is run by Caprecon Development Foundation.
Today, Glory and Blessing, and tens of their peers in IDP camps have joined Obaji in educating other internally displaced women and children on the activities of human traffickers, and the dangers of listening to them.
ABOUT CAPRECON FOUNDATION
Caprecon Development Foundation was founded out of a vision to work with the most deprived and marginalised in society, including a desire to reach out to those affected by instability, natural disasters, environmental adversities, unbearable poverty and violent conflicts; resulting to unimaginable human suffering and displacement. Additionally, the pursuit of non-violent means of resolving conflicts, preventing violent conflict, the promotion of basic human rights, especially the rights of minority groups, social justice and education for sustainable development are the core motivation for its foundation. .
Poverty Alleviation, Youth and Community Development, Humanitarian Assistance
EDUCATION / TRAINING
Peace and Human Rights Education, Conflicts Resolution Education, Entrepreneurial and Leadership Skills, Non-violence & Peer Mediation Skills
Basic Human Rights & Rights of Minority Groups, Stopping Human Trafficking, Promoting Girl Child Education and Gender Equality, Child Protections
RESEARCH AND CONSULTANCY
Refugee Care, Post Conflict Stabilization, Minority Rights, Media and Society, Media and Conflict
Up Against Trafficking
Shiwari Madinatu (near Madinatu Mosque)
Jere Local Government Area
This campaign is run by Caprecon Development Foundation.