Facebook hammered for Nigerian child trafficking adverts on its platform | P.M. News

Cameroonian who fled the fighting in their country’s English-speaking regions are taking refuge in Adagom in south-central , where some have been exploited by looking to take of their vulnerability. [Photograph: Philip Obaji Jr.]

By Philip Obaji Jr.

The Africans Unite Against , , and Centre for Children’s , , Orientation and Protection, Nigeria, have criticised following revelations that children, especially girls, were being trafficked from a camp in Ogoja, Cross State, after being advertised for exploitation on the platform.

The groups slammed Facebook for permitting trafficking to take place service and also being to take action when such incidents happen.

In a joint statement, the organisations expressed dismay that it took Facebook 29 hours to suspend the account of the suspect, after investigative , Philip Obaji Jr, had reported the account in contravention of the ’s policies of to enquiries within .

The report revealed details of a named person, who had used his Facebook page to advertise of Cameroonian girls fleeing the ongoing conflict in Southern ’s Anglophone region.

This conflict has so far displaced millions of people with several thousand staying in refugee camps across Southern Nigeria.

The NGOs were exceptionally concerned that despite this case being reported to Facebook, it took the platform hours to take action, thereby putting the victims at further risk of harm.

In one of posts cited, the person had uploaded an of a he claimed was “intelligent, hardworking and about 17,” and asked persons “interested in her as a to inbox me.”

The organisations recalled that this would not be the Facebook would be accused of enabling child trafficking on its .

“In 2018, Facebook was severely criticised by NGOs in South and across the that its had been used for the auctioning of a child bride in the country.

is a growing global problem with over 40 million people at risk, according to the International Labour Organisation.

“Nigeria is known as a source, and destination country for trafficking victims with over one million trafficked each year, according to the Global Index.

“Human trafficking and slavery is illegal in most around the world, including Nigeria,” the NGOs said.

Debbie Ariyo, of -based AFRUCA, an anti-child trafficking organisation, said, “It is concerning that platforms are increasingly being used by human traffickers to facilitate the sale of human beings, with little being done to address this. media platforms have become the 21st century slave . This has to stop.”

Betty Abah, Executive of CEE-HOPE Nigeria, stated that it appears Facebook has a discriminatory approach to addressing against vulnerable children in than more advanced parts of the world.

“I do not believe Facebook would have failed to if this was happening in a European country,” she added.

Both organisations urged the relevant agencies in Nigeria to act to secure the well-being of refugee children in the country, and investigate the child trafficking allegations to ensure perpetrators are brought to book.

They also called on Facebook to investigate the case as well as tighten its safeguard mechanisms to ensure that crimes such as human trafficking are completely eradicated on its platforms.

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