By Ndey Sowe
The National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons (NAATIP) on Thursday, 17 August hosted a sensitisation event for students from the Gambia College on human trafficking.
The purpose of the awareness-raising session was to provide valuable insights into the various forms of human trafficking, its underlying causes, as well as devastating consequences of it.
The session focuses on the overview of human trafficking as it is a global phenomenon and that the Gambia is a source, destination, and transit country for human trafficking. It also deals with the function of NAATIP, what human trafficking is all about, and the identification of who is a victim of trafficking.
Ms Isatou Dabo, the Executive Director of NAATIP, said their intention is to raise awareness about proactive measures that can be taken to prevent human trafficking within Gambian society.
She cited that by collaborating with The Gambia College, NAATIP can ensure that students and teachers gain the necessary knowledge and skills to identify potential trafficking situations and take appropriate action, adding that through this partnership, NAATIP aspires to create a climate of vigilance and empathy that will contribute to the eradication of human trafficking in The Gambia.
She believes that this event will not only raise awareness on the issue of human trafficking but also empower various sectors of Gambian society to take part in combating this global problem.
She added that NAATIP hopes to partner with everyone, more especially the media to help amplify its messages and reach out to more people as well as educate the public about human trafficking.
Tijan Faal, Deputy Head of Investigations at NAATIP, said the session is geared towards the students at the Gambia College, citing that the College is an institution that trains teachers, this is why NAATIP deems it important to come and sensitise them.
“We believe region-wise or the entire country you have people who are trained from here and at the end of the day they are deployed to different regions in the country,” MrFaal explained.
He indicated that if these teachers have been sensitised and have background information or knowledge about human trafficking, he believes that they will disseminate the information wherever they are posted or deployed.
Mr Demba Yarbo, the Registrar at The Gambia College, said that the session is very important because human trafficking is a concern to everyone.
He, therefore acknowledges NAATIP for choosing the Gambia College, citing that they are the ones who train these teachers, and when school opens, they will all be in the field to teach.
He reiterated that the session’s importance cannot be overemphasized because the teachers are the direct contact with the community children, and parents, and getting them to know about human trafficking is very important.