The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has launched an Amber Alert to assist in the fight against human trafficking and enhance investigation and rescue efforts.
The launch of the device on Wednesday in Abuja was with the collaboration of Meta, an American multinational technology conglomerate company.
The Amber Alert is also designed to carry citizens along in terms of information sharing on Facebook and Instagram whenever there is a case of a missing child.
The device is empowered to make searches of any missing child in any designated areas and to help to locate the whereabouts of the missing child.
In a welcome address, the NAPTIP’s Director of Intelligence and Public Enlightenment, Mr Josiah Emerole, noted that cases of missing children had been on the increase recently in Nigeria.
He said that the Amber Alert would enable the agency to further engage in its counter-trafficking efforts with special emphasis on issues of missing children.
“What we are doing today is, therefore, to further the agency’s resolve to be more proactive in its operations and in line with its mandate as enshrined in the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act 2015.
“The launch of this Amber Alert in Nigeria today will no doubt change the narrative in the search and rescue of children who stray and cannot find their way back home; and those stolen or abducted for various purposes, including trafficking,” Emerole said.
Mrs Adaora Ikenze, Head of Public Policy, Anglophone West Africa, Meta, said her company had deployed Amber alert globally to keep the community safe.
She said the company had contributed to solving the challenges around the search and recovery of missing children, adding that keeping the community safe means everything to them at Meta.
According to her, when a child is missing, the most important thing for the company is to get detailed information about the incident out to the public as quickly as possible, and that is why it is partnering with NAPTIP.
She said that the true value of technology lies in its ability to drive solutions for real-world issues and harness it to be able to communicate and disseminate information faster, and provides a solution for challenges.
Emily Vacher, Meta Director of Trust and Safety, stated that the device was already available in 28 countries of the world, adding that Nigeria is the second African country to join the programme.
She said that once NAPTIP alerted Meta about the case of any missing child, the Amber alert will help to disseminate the information to other law enforcement agencies who will also assist in sharing the information and assist in the search.
“By working with law enforcement in helping to share the right information with the right people, we hope that missing children will be safely reunited with their families faster,” she stressed.
Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, NAPTIP’s Director-General, stated that the Amber alert device was aimed at assisting in locating abducted children by sending alerts to the News Feeds of people located in the targeted search areas in Nigeria.