SOCIAL MEDIA AS A TOOL FOR SEX TRAFFICKING AMONG STUDENTS

      Human trafficking has long been a concern to the concern men, women, governments and agencies with various legislations been passed locally and global to address the subject matter, However, instead to see the end of such injustice, it becoming wax stronger day in day out as the traffickers employing more strategically and tactical way to gain access to the target vulnerable especially the young ladies. Human trafficking is considered modern-day slavery because it requires the use of fraud, force, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Human trafficking is an umbrella term used for the all form of illegal migration of human being especially for illegal activities including sex trafficking

            Anti-Slavery International (2018) defines human trafficking as recruitment, harbouring or transporting people into a situation of exploitation through the use of violence, deception or coercion and forced to work against their will. In other words, trafficking is a process of enslaving people, coercing them into a situation with no way out, and exploiting them

            Also, human trafficking can be described as any form of the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs (UNODC, 2018).

            Sex trafficking is a sub-topic under human trafficking and it is the act of trafficking human for sexual exploitation which include sexual slavery. Sex trafficking is considered as one of the biggest criminal businesses and is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world (Kara,2009). 

            Although, there are lots of channels or means by which human are lure, convinced and trafficked, however, the globalization and modernization through the emergence of technology particularly has not only made a world a global village but has also compressed the world into a single electronic room where people, business, education, interactions and politics that used to be possible are now made possible online. However, social media is increasingly being exploited to contact, recruit and sell children for sex, according to a study by The University of Toledo Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute. There are instances in Nigeria those friends especially ladies who meet men online have been killed or used as rituals. In fact, there are lots of what is called romance scam in the country.

The findings equally revealed how traffickers quickly target and connect with vulnerable children on the Internet through social media (University of Toledo, 2018). It is of not that the traffickers connect to vulnerable youth online, groom the children to form quicker relationships, avoid detection, and move the connections from online to in-person. Internet has made it easier for the traffickers and vulnerable to interact more from mere online messaging to physical meeting . As technology is playing a larger role in trafficking, this allows some traffickers to be able to exploit youth without meeting face-to-face. Social media helps to mask traditional cues that alert individuals to a potentially dangerous person (University of Toledo, 2018).

Keywords:  INFLUENCE, SOCIAL MEDIA, SEX TRAFFICKING, UNIPORT STUDENTS