The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on Tuesday named two Nigerian celebrities as its `Goodwill Ambassadors’, in the fight against human trafficking and smuggling of migrants in Nigeria.
The UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Angela Atangana, introduced the ambassadors as renowned actress, Ms Joke Silva and Hip Hop artist, Mr Jude Abaga, popularly known as M.I. on Tuesday, during the launch of “I am priceless”, a campaign against human trafficking and smuggling of migrants.
The campaign entitled ‘Promoting better management of migration in Nigeria, by combating and reducing irregular migration that occurs, inter-alia, through trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants’ is sponsored by the EU in partnership with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP) and the Nigerian Immigration Service.
Atangana said the UN had a tradition of enlisting individuals in art, academia, literature, sports and entertainment, to raise awareness of the aims, objectives and priorities of the organisation.
“It is in this vein that the UNODC would like to tap into Nigeria’s talent in music, film and theatre, to amplify advocacy and sensitisation efforts on trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants,’’ she said.
Atangana said that Silva would be the goodwill ambassador against human trafficking, while M.I would be the goodwill ambassador against smuggling of migrants.
UNODC’s hope is that they would use their wide fan base to spread the word, and through them a great reduction in human trafficking and smuggling of immigrants can be recorded.
In a country where a large youth percentage wishes to leave the country by every possible means, Atangana urged the ambassadors to reach out to the youths and vulnerable segments of the society, so people could understand the dangers and implication of traveling through irregular means.