By Okey Muogbo
Journalists have been described as critical stakeholders in the fight against human trafficking and irregular migration.
Mr Adaramola Emmanuel, President of the Network Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL) stated this at a 2-day training organized by his Network for practising journalists which held in Abuja.
According to Adaramola, journalists and what they publish influence to a large extent, what happens in the society.
He expressed the hope that after the training which ended on Friday, human trafficking and irregular migration would be mitigated in Nigeria.
The President also said that the purpose of the training was to equip media practitioners on the new trend on human trafficking and smuggling of migrant.
Acccording to Emmanuel, the training project was funded by European Union, ECOWAS and implemented by IOM and NACTAL.
He also disclosed that NACTAL and IOM (International Organization on Migration) had trained about 90 civil society practitioners in Nigeria on aspects of trafficking and migration.
From the ECOWAS, Mr Olatunde Olayemi of the division of human security and civil society of the commission advised journalists covering human trafficking and irregular migration to exercise caution in writing their stories so that such stories would not jeopardize the life and future of victims of human trafficking.
Olayemi stated that the commission was committed to the development of the region and will do everything within its reach to better the life of people of the region.
Mr Yohanna Gaja from the IOM in his own remarks also urged the journalists to maintain professionalism and impartiality when it comes to informing and educating the populace on migration related news.
Acccording to him, the gap identified in the level of information available to the individuals in the public has been identified as one of the key factors still fuelling human trafficking in Nigeria.
He called on the media to always play their role by ensuring that the right, adequate and efficient information get to the public and also report the new trend used in human trafficking these days.