By Bukar Bolori
National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, (NAPTIP), and it’s partners, have introduced a Standard Reporting Handbook for Journalists covering human trafficking cases in Nigeria.
Director General, (NAPTIP), Professor Fatima Waziri-Azi, said the reporting handbook would go a long way to guide journalists on how to properly report issues surrounding Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants, (TIPSOM).
The DG made this known at a two-day Validation and Technical Finalization Workshop on Standard Reporting Handbook for Journalists and members of the Trafficking in Persons Media Corps, organised by NAPTIP in partnership with Action Against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants, (A-TIPSOM) and the European Union, (EU) on Tuesday in Keffi, Nasarawa state.
Waziri-Azi said: “The reporting template came because of an enunciation of the United Nations urging the use of specific words, language and registers that apply to trafficking in persons and if you don’t use them in your reportage, other choice of words will not serve the purpose and may actually denigrate a victim causing another round of stigma.
“The terms highlighted in the reporting template did not come from NAPTIP, those terms are domiciled in the UN conventions and the importance of using those templates in our reportage is that they are deemed appropriate to speak to the issue.”
Waziri-Azu who was represented at the workshop by the Director Training and Manpower Development, NAPTIP, Arinze Orakwue, explained that the need for a reporting template stems from the fact that there are unique registers and terms that are approved to be used appropriately in reporting cases of trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants.
She said: “The validation workshop can help us bridge the gap and validate the standard operating document.
Team Leader, A-TIPSOM, Federico Millan, noted that the reporting template is an important tool in the fight against trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants as it represents the core existence of the A-TIPSOM, project implemented by the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies, (GIIAP).
Represented by Segun Sanwo at the event, he said: “The way and manner cases of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants is being reported, must ensure that victims are adequately protected in the course of reportage of the issues.”
Speaking on the impact of effective reportage of cases of trafficking in persons on victims, the Director, Research and Programme Development, NAPTIP, Josiah Emerole, urged journalists to report the issues using approved terminologies in a professional manner.
He charged that: “Reports must be done in ways that will not further traumatize victims. The previous worships we have held have resulted in effective reportage and as a result of these trainings, a standard reporting document has been born.”