Behind the scenes: creating a girl-led campaign
Meet the young people who created the #NoToTrafficking campaign in Nigeria
At Plan International UK, we believe young people are best placed to make change in their own lives.
That’s why every global Because I am a Girl campaign is owned, led and shaped by young people, enabling them to create the impact they want to see in their communities.
I was lucky enough to see the process in action in Nigeria, when I joined a group of 15 girls at their campaign workshop in Abuja. Aged between 18 and 25, the group of activists included some girls and young women who had survived trafficking.
The workshop involved a lot of laughter, singing, many selfies – and a powerful group of girls working on a campaign to tackle gender-based violence.
In Nigeria, humanitarian crisis has had a devastating impact on communities.
Surrounded by conflict and food insecurity, girls are being displaced from their homes and having their childhoods cut short – and the crisis is proving to be ideal ground for traffickers.
During the day, I listened as some of the girls described being coerced through false promises and deception into exploitative conditions. Those who are tricked in this way commonly experience sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, violence and forced labour.
Many don’t know the risks until it’s too late. That’s why the girls wanted their campaign to call on the Nigerian Government to take action and say #NoToTrafficking.
Running youth-led campaigns means putting young people’s voices front and centre, from naming the campaign to agreeing the action they want to see and engaging decision-makers to give children and young people the chance of a better future.
During the workshop, the girls created problem trees looking at the root causes of trafficking. They then began turning these problem trees into solution trees and developed a brilliant range of potential solutions to campaign on.
Awareness-raising was the number one issue they wanted to highlight.
They reflected that, while some areas have a wider knowledge of the risks associated with trafficking, this isn’t the case across the country – particularly in remote areas and those affected by conflict.
Based on this girl-led model, the group – championed by youth advocates Gift and Tama – decided it would be effective to join forces with NAPTIP, the Nigerian Government’s anti-trafficking agency.
Together, they’re calling on federal government departments and state governments to come together to say #NoToTrafficking and commit to run a fully-resourced, joint public awareness campaign that reaches remote communities, to ensure every girl and their families know the risks of trafficking and exploitation.
We captured their demands and the stories of survivors in a powerful campaign film which you can watch here >
Now we’re asking you to show your support and stand with the girls of Nigeria. Gift and Tama will present the girls’ campaign to the government and – if you add your name – they’ll have you standing by their side.
The more of us around the world that act, the more likely the Nigerian Government will listen. Take action and add your name here >
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