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Devatop Conducts Training for Students on Sextortion to Enhance Their Understanding

Devatop Centre for Africa Development, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) championing the course against Online Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (OSEA), has trained students from Plateau, Nasarawa and FCT on the understanding of “Sextortion”. The students who attended the one-day workshop were drawn from Universities, Polytechnic, Colleges of Education and Secondary Schools across the three states.

 Ms Kalu Grace, DEVATOP’s Programme Officer, stated that DEVATOP is anchoring a project known as “TALKAM” against all forms of violence against humanity, including Sextortion. She said the “TALKAM against sextortion project” is designed to prevent and support victims’ access to care and justice using technology and traditional methods. She explained further that DEVATOP also works on Countering Trafficking In Persons (CTIP), Child Labour and Abuse, and Gender-Based Violence.

Grace told the students that the project would provide victims of sextortion counselling and facilitate justice through collaboration with government agencies, private sectors and other development partners. According to her, expectations from the training are for the students to understand the definition of Sextortion, forms of Sextortion, and approaches to combating the menace, as well as create awareness about Sextortion in their respective schools. She mentioned that the project would also dwell on monitoring and reporting suspected cases through the Talkam application (TALKAM App). She, however, urged the students to be passionate about the project, adding that rendering service to humanity required passion, determination and commitment.

 At the beginning of the training, Mr Juventus Yitnoe, the Head of Operations of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Plateau state zonal command, Jos, took the students through his session of the training, where he briefed the students on the project overview. 

Mr. Yitnoe, during his session, explained “What Children and caregivers need to know, which covered the Definition of Sextortion, types of Sextortion, webcam sextortion, and characteristics of Sextortion. The students were also taught about indicators, Red Flags, crime prevention and response to Sextortion as a Gender Based Violence (GBV) and human trafficking crime.

At the end of the presentation of his session, the students asked questions about Sextortion. They shared different stories about their experiences and how they have never been able to support victims to get justice in their various institutions. The students were taught to use external entities in seeking justice instead of depending on the school’s governance. The entities mentioned at the event include security agencies like the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), civil society organisations like Devatop Centre for Africa Development through the TALKAM APP reporting platform and other civil society organisations in their respective locations.

 The second session was facilitated by Devatop Program Officer, MS Kalu Grace, on the topic “Understanding Sextortion in higher institutions, online and in workplaces, as well as protecting themselves from the crime. In her session, she made use of the plenary approach and presented a slide on “How to respond to Sextortion, 

Participants also contributed to the session by sharing their different experiences on how they have been in situations where they could do little or nothing as a result of fear of discrimination and victimisation. The students thanked and appreciated DEVATOP for giving them the opportunity for the training and the organisation’s effort in equipping them with adequate knowledge to train other fellow students.