By Amadou Jadama
As part of its mandate to combat trafficking in persons in the Gambia and raise awareness, the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons (NAATIP) has sensitized the students and staff of Kotu upper and senior secondary school on human trafficking.
The purpose of the sensitization is to raise awareness of the students and the staff about the ills and dangers of the human trafficking.
Addressing the gathering, Joseph Yadel Mendy, head of the investigation unit of NAATIP, explained that human trafficking can be identified through the act, means, and progress, adding that when a person is being transported and received into a detention center it qualifies as human trafficking.
He added that when a person is being smuggled into place for sexual exploitation, labor and the removal of organs also implies that the person is a victim of human trafficking. He implored the students to examine the purpose and means of human trafficking carefully before giving a conclusion.
Mr Mendy advised the students to refrain themselves from lucrative offers from human traffickers that are centered on their gains through business in human organs, prostitution, and labor.
”Smuggling-in-person and human trafficking are interlinked but the two are different.Therefore, when an immigrant wants to migrate into another country, he or she involves a person who will smuggle him or her into the country but if it continues for human traffickers’ gains it qualifies the act as human trafficking, “he said.
Also adding his voice, Tijan Faal, the deputy investigating officer of NAATIP, urged the students and their teachers to report any case of human trafficking. He said human trafficking is exploitation against humans which now turned into commodities for sexual exploitation and slavery in various African countries.
He further disclosed that the victims of human trafficking are psychologically unstable with low self-esteem, noting that it requires collaborative efforts to remedy the trauma of the victims of human trafficking and bring an end to this inhuman treatment against persons.
Mr Fatal maintained: ”Most of our African ladies are deceived with the ideology that Gambian ladies are lazy, compelling young ladies to go in for prostitution where they are answerable to human traffickers and in most cases, some of the ladies’ national identity cards are being seized, denying them freedom of movement.”
He called on the public to work hand in glove with his institution to put a stop to this cruel act against human beings.
NAATIP is the leading agency mandated to prevent, protect and prosecute against trafficking in persons in the Gambia. NAATIP’s unwavering commitment is to combat this heinous crime, safeguarding the rights and dignity of those most susceptible.