EFFECTIVENESS OF MASS MEDIA IN SENSITIZING AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING I…
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Nigeria, like most other countries of the world, is faced with myriad social problems and crimes. The rate of violent crimes against the human person is alarming Nigeria, especially in this digital age. Human trafficking are among the most heinous crimes against the human person. The menace of human trafficking has crept deep into the fabrics of most riverine areas, especially in the South-South Geo-political Zone of Nigeria. This heinous act is, however, not insurmountable. One of the means of fighting human trafficking is the use of the mass media as well as the statutory agency established specifically for this purpose. The National Agency for the Prohibition of trafficking in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP) is the public organisation vested with the responsibility of addressing issues of human trafficking and child abuse in Nigeria.
Trafficking in person is one of the fastest growing organised crimes in the world. Thousands of women and children all over the world are being abducted, sold, lured into forced labour and prostitution and involuntary marriage. These acts range from blatant or subtle methods such as organised brothels, sex tour packages, trafficking syndication and forced Marriage to bonded labour, etc (Effah, 2006).
Trafficking in persons is a widespread phenomenon in Nigeria. It is multidimensional and multi-faceted to the extent that so many people have become (defenceless) victims. Apart from engaging the victims in prostitution, marriage and forced labour, some victims are used for rituals, as agents or accomplices in other crimes, beggars, or even for organ transplant. For instance, in April 2014, more than two hundred teenage girls of Government School, Chibok in Bornu State of Nigeria were abducted by gunmen from the Boko Haram, an extremist Islamic religious sect. The message from this act is that Nigeria has now become a source, transit and destination country for human trafficking. Currently, trafficking of women and children still takes place between Nigeria and countries such as Gabon, Cameroon, Niger Republic, Italy, Spain, Benin Republic, Saudi Arabia, etc.
Osakue (2002. p. 3), in a research report on human trafficking in the south-south, says “up to 20 children per day are believed to be trafficked across the Nigerian border. Delta, Cross River. Imo and Abia have been identified as major trafficking zones, with Edo and Akwa Ibom Stales leading 62% and 45% respectively”. This is a serious problem that needs urgent solutions if the rights of women and children are to be safeguarded.
The success of curbing any societal problem depends largely on effective communication of the facts, circumstances and issues on such problem as well as the solutions. Udoakah (2006. p. S2) posits that: “Generally the performance of the communication enterprise should be beneficial to individual and society as a whole it should reflect environment problem and community welfare, the economic, labour as well as human right issues.
Harold lass well (2005,p.16) say; that the mass media performs three function viz; surveillance of the environment, correlation of parts of the society transmission of the social heritage from one generation to another, and Wright (200) adds, fourth role as “entertainment” Okunna (2009, p.274) human trafficking an emotional and contentious issue that has enormously eroded the societal values.
This in humanity of man to young persons has an age long history. In the last twelve years the crime has greatly increased as people are moss-led by deceit or forced to summit to servitude for economic purposes due to dissemination. This act is perpetrated both internally and externally, Nigeria happens to be one of the destination points for human trafficking as the “crime harming a child physically, sexually and emotionally”. Maduewesi (2000) argues that there are no statistical records on how the media have churned out news on this menace. In the recent times, studies have shown that human trafficking basically for house helps service is a global issue. Also Lutz (2002) affirms that house help in different places were largely young, single girls of age 14 years and above.
Nevertheless, the media’s role in creating awareness in human trafficking by churning out programmes in a dramatized way, extensive reportage on human trafficking and abuse through films, print and broadcast media is a worth while venture. The mass media campaign coverage on information few people directly experience and unraveling happenings that relates to this scourge.
Therefore it is believed that the Nigerian mass media can through their campaign bring about a social change in human trafficking and abuse in Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
I beat every sound minded Nigerians imagination why such act like human trafficking that is akin to slavery should continue after more than 200 years since slavery was stopped all over the world. Unfortunately, Nigeria has been indicted as a transit point irrespective of efforts of the media, government and non-governmental bodies towards finding a lasting solution to the change.
The exploitive and slave like conditions meted out on young persons under the age of seventeen is better described as cruelty to the Nigeria society. This indecent and ungodly act-should not strive. Several publication have been made by the Nigerian mass media concerning human trafficking to foreign countries and within the nation. Based on this premise, this research will further explain the danger the scourge portends and the need for all hands to be on deck for the mass media campaign on human trafficking and abuse to be a success. Also we cannot continue to allow undesirable element to destroy the right of Nigerians.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Specifically the objectives of this study are objectives are as follow:
i. To investigate the causes of human trafficking in Nigeria.
ii. To examine the communication strategies adopted by the mass media in their campaign against human trafficking in Nigeria.
iii. To assess the public perception/ opinion on the war against the widespread of human trafficking by the media
iv. To examine public perception of the media as powerful instrument to fight the obnoxious practices against human trafficking in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
i. What are the causes of human trafficking in Nigeria?
ii. What are the communication strategies adopted by the mass media in their media campaigns against human trafficking?
iii. How has the public perceive the media as effective instrument in the fight against the practices of human trafficking?
iv. To what extends has the public commend the media in the fight against human trafficking in Nigeria?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study shall keep the media and other social institutions to review their campaign/ programmes or policies aimed at wedging war against human trafficking with view to re- strategize efforts to avert the menace in Nigeria
Nigerian women, especially the victims of human trafficking, shall be empowered/ encouraged by this study because it shall guide, educate, and sensitize them on how to live a better life despite the challenges they face
The growing incidents of human trafficking, child labour and other related cases shall be reduced, if not drastically averted. The children shall enjoy the Fundamental Human Rights and other privileges in the society. Those who are already victims shall be liberated and enjoyed to live a free and better life in the society.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study is based on the assessment of the effectiveness of mass media in sensitizing against human trafficking in Nigeria. The study shall also investigate the role of the media in the fight against these challenge and the residents think, about media as it carried its traditional responsibility of educating, sensitizing and alerting the society danger of human trafficking.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The first clear weakness of the study is lack of enough money to carry out the study to a larger extent. Limited timeframe is another challenge the researcher encountered which hindered the study.
Again, the researcher grappled difficulty trying to get some materials relevant to the study which are not within the geographical area of the study.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
MASS MEDIA: The mass media is a diversified collection of media technologies that reach a large audience via mass communication.
MEDIA: Any channel which allows dissemination and exchange of information/idea from one point to another such as radio, television, computers newspaper/ magazines, etc.
COVERAGE: An amount by which something or someone is covered, being under focus of something.
CHILD TRAFFICKING: This is the selling of children to another person for sexual or labour purpose.
Coverage: Reporting of news, stories, issues and event in the newspaper.