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MASS MEDIA SENSITIZATION AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF NTA PH AND RADIO RIVERS 99.1FM)

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MASS MEDIA SENSITIZATION AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF NTA PH AND RADIO RIVERS 99.1FM)

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background to the Study

Nigeria has been plagued by various forms of crime, including theft, burglary, verbal assault, robbery, economic and financial crime, ethnic and religious disturbances, cultism, sexual harassment in educational institutions, youth restiveness, and human trafficking. All segments of the population in Nigeria, including the elites and the youths, at one point or another engage in these criminal acts. Both rural and urban cities have been adversely affected by these undesirable activities. The crime rate has exceeded the acceptable safety limit and has reached alarming levels, significantly impacting social, economic, and political activities. In light of this situation, Academic, government, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), as well as the international community, have sought to understand the various dimensions of this phenomenon, including its levels of manifestation, causes, and implications for all segments of societies. These efforts have been made with the singular desire of devising appropriate strategies towards the effective management of the problems. However, this study has specifically focused on examining the effect of communication on trafficking in human commodities. 

Trafficking in human beings has indeed emerged as a pervasive issue that impacts all nations and represents a serious infringement upon human rights. According to conservative estimates, it is believed that more than 20 million individuals worldwide have been impacted both directly and indirectly (Atkinson, Curnin & Hanson, 2016). Furthermore, Atkinson, et.al, (2016) have reported that this crime gives rise to various forms of trauma for its victims and have identified both immediate and long-term physical and psychological damage to those who experience it.

In Nigeria, human trafficking is a complex issue that encompasses both domestic trafficking, which involves the movement of individuals from rural to urban communities within Nigeria, and international trafficking, which involves the transportation of individuals overseas. Nigerian women and children are transported from Nigeria to various West and Central African countries, as well as South Africa, where they are subjected to exploitation. According to Badejo (2016), Nigerian women and girls face the unfortunate reality of being victims of sex trafficking in various parts of Europe. Additionally, they are often coerced and transported to regions in North Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia. Iyanda and Nwogwugwu (2016) have postulated that Nigeria is infamous for two distinct types of trafficking: internal and external trafficking. Internal trafficking manifests as domestic servitude and street begging, whereas external trafficking primarily revolves around sex trafficking and domestic labour. 

In addition to the aforementioned information, it is worth noting that Nigeria is widely recognised as the primary source of child labour in various regions of West Africa and across a significant portion of the African continent (Adepoju 2019). Furthermore, it is worth noting that there exists compelling evidence indicating that human trafficking in Nigeria has evolved to include the practice of baby selling, commonly referred to as 'Baby factory'. This particular system not only facilitates child trafficking but also exploits young girls who find themselves in undesirable circumstances. Additionally, another alarming aspect of human trafficking in Nigeria is the occurrence of organ harvesting, as highlighted by UNESCO (2006) and Salih 

Despite these ambiguities, the Nigerian government has not ceased its efforts in combating this menace, even after being ranked third in the list of human trafficking criminality, following trafficking in drugs and economic fraud, as stated in the UNESCO 2006 publication. For instance, in 205, the government collaborated with the European Union and the UNODC to promote awareness about the actuality, perils, and consequences associated with irregular migration. The nationwide campaign entitled "I am Priceless" emphasises the consequences that come with either being smuggled into other nations or becoming a victim of human trafficking. The slogan of the campaign "I am Priceless" was crafted and intended to convey and reinforce the truth about the significance, inherent value, and respectability of every individual, regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, or gender, among other factors. It was also intended to infuse a sense of liberation and an orientation of empowerment to neutralise adverse information that the victims or potential victims of trafficking had experienced over time or as an aftermath of a trafficking experience (UNODC, 2012). 

The issue of human trafficking has garnered significant media attention and therefore serves as a compelling case study for researchers. This is due to its multifaceted nature, encompassing various crimes that are interconnected with migration, labour, gender, health issues, human rights, and criminal justice (Sanford, Martínez & Weitzer, 2016). As Santas (2018) argues, the mass media play a crucial role in a democratic society by providing the public with accurate, timely, and sufficient information about societal trends and events. Therefore, as major stakeholders in the Nigeria project, the mass media has a crucial role to play in reporting criminal activities and sensitising the public. Given the critical importance of the media in ensuring public orientation, this study seeks to examine mass media sensitization against human trafficking in Nigeria. Specifically, it will focus on a case study of NTA PH and RADIO RIVERS 99.1FM. 

1.2 Statement of the Problem 

Over the past few decades, the trafficking of human beings has emerged as a significant concern for numerous international and national organisations, governments, and interest groups due to its far-reaching political, social, and economic implications. As succinctly put by Nkememna (2019), human trafficking constitutes a cruel deviation from societal norms. It is a situation where humans are abducted for forced labour, forced prostitution, exploitations, and deprivation of human rights. This crime often results in both short- and long-term physical and psychological harm to its victims. In Nigeria, the issue of human trafficking is the third most common crime, despite the constitutional provisions that outlaw slavery and forced labour in Section 34(1) of the 1999 constitution. Furthermore, it is important to note that Sections 223-225 of the criminal code outline the sanctions imposed on individuals who engage in the trading of prostitution or aid in the transportation of human beings for commercial purposes, both within and outside the borders of Nigeria (Nkememena, 2019). 

Given the increasing prevalence of this issue, the objective of this study is to examine how the media sensitises the public and covers the topic of human trafficking. Specifically, the study aims to analyse the severity and complexity of the issue in order to raise awareness among local, national, and international communities. By doing so, it is hoped that a comprehensive understanding of these atrocious acts against humanity can be achieved, ultimately fostering an environment conducive for sustainable development. Given the critical importance of the mass media in shaping public attitude, this study focuses on mass media sensitization against human trafficking in Nigeria (a case study of NTA PH and Radio Rivers 99.1FM).

1.3     Objectives Of The Study

The study's main goal is to examine mass media sensitization against human trafficking in Nigeria (a case study of NTA PH and Radio Rivers 99.1FM). The study specifically attempted to: 

Identify the causes of human trafficking in Nigeria.

Determine the extent the mass media facilitates public awareness on the human trafficking in Nigeria.

Determine the frequency of mass media in the coverage of human trafficking in Nigeria.

Determine the extent the mass media sensitizes the public on the consequences of human trafficking in Nigeria.

Determine the extent the mass media sensitizes the public on the value of human life in Nigeria.

1.4     Research Questions: 

The study will be guided by the following research questions

What are the causes of human trafficking in Nigeria?

What is the extent the mass media facilitates public awareness on the human trafficking in Nigeria?

What is level of mass media frequency in the coverage of human trafficking in Nigeria?

What is the extent the mass media sensitizes the public on the consequences of human trafficking in Nigeria?

What is the extent the mass media sensitizes the public on the value of human life in Nigeria?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

Ho: The mass media does not sensitize the public on the consequences of human trafficking in Nigeria.

Ha: The mass media does sensitize the public on the consequences of human trafficking in Nigeria.

1.6 Significance Of The Study

This study will help to reignite the mass media effectiveness in help to reduce the rate at which human trafficking is growing in our country today. They could help inform and educate people both in urban and rural areas of the effect of human trafficking and disadvantages and how tit could destroy lives.

Lastly the study will serve as a source of referee materials for prospective researcher who may wish to undertake a study in this regard.

1.7 Scope Of The Study

The scope of this study boarders on mass media sensitization against human trafficking in Nigeria. The study will be conducted in Rivers state while the respondents will be obtained from the staff of NTA PH and Radio Rivers 99.1FM.

1.8 Limitations Of The Study

Like all human endeavour, this research work was not without some factors that tended to jeopardize the smooth completion of the study. One of the factors is on the fact that the period of time allowed for this work was short that the researcher did not have enough time to do a thorough job.

Also the researcher in the course of data collection, had to put in extra effort to interpreting interviews schedule of the respondents, some who fall within the in comprehensible age limit. Additionally, there were financial and transit constraints.

1.9 Definition Of Terms

Human trafficking: This is the trade in human, most commonly for the purpose of sexual, slavery, forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others, or for the extraction of organs or tissues including surrogacy and or removal, or for providing a spouse in the context of forced marriage.

Mass Media: The mass media is a diversified collection of media technologies that reach a large audience via mass communication.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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