*A cross section of participants at the training program*
A civil society organisation (CSO), Sustainable Gender Action Initiative (SGAI), has trained no fewer than 50 youths on checking cyber-facilitated sexual and gender based violence (CFSGBV).
The Executive Director of SGAI, Mufuliat Fijabi, in her welcome address, said the participants were selected across the country through their call for application online.
She said the importance of the training was to educate the youths more on issues of CFSGBV.
She said SGAI, in conjunction with Voice of Women Empowerment Foundation, collaborated to increase an advocacy about the occurrence of the menace in the society.
“Before now there has been a lot of concerns about Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) but not so much attention has been given to those acts of SGBV committed within the cyber space.
“It is important to speak about it in line with the ongoing 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence which is an annual celebration from 25th of November to 10th of December,” she said.
Fiji, while sharing a personal experience, said on Jan. 4, she had similar encounter.
“I experienced a cyber attack. I was intimidated.
“People started calling me from different parts of the world because somebody; a woman, managed to entre my Whatsup account,” she said.
Fijabi, who said she was able to block and retrieve the account through the police intervention, said the capacity building was imperative because many Nigerians were not ICT-compliant.
The Chief Executive Officer of Voice of Women Empowerment Foundation, Toun Okewale-Sonaiya, said the aim of the training was to make the youths the vanguard and advocate against CFSGBV.
She said different stakeholders were also invited to continue to be the lead organisations to ensure the menace was well managed, ensure access to justice for survivals and ensure adequate punishment for perpetrators.
Isah Abdulkarim, the Chief Intelligent Officer, National Agency For The Prohibition Of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP), described CFSGBV as “any act that is commited or amplified using digital tools or technologies which cause physical, sexual, psychological, social, political or economic harm to people.”
Abdulkarim, therefore, gave some tips on how to maintain cyber hygiene, which include “the use of complex passwords, change of passwords for one’s accounts periodically and ensure never to use same password for different accounts, keeping your system updated.
“Scrutinise emails properly before clicking to open them, use social media with caution, avoid using public WiFi networks as much as possible, keep visitors away from your main network, use corporate email account (i.e email with a .gov.ng domain) for official purpose and protect your systems with anti-virus.”
The officer, who said sextortion was a form of CFSGBV, said where one’s “nude picture is online, the picture should be sent to https://takeitdown.ncmec.org/, and it will be taken down.”
He said his office recently set up NAPTIP Cyber Security Response Team to work in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Justice with a view to arrest and prosecute culprits of CFSGBV cases reported to the agency.
Yewande Gbola-Awope, Head of SGBV Response Unit, Federal.Minustry of Justice, said the unit, which was created in 2021 and began its full operations in 2022, had been facilitating sub-national and national issues on access to justice for gender-based violence in the country.
She said the ministry does capacity building for judicial officers, investigators, prosecutors, directors of public prosecution, commissioners of justice and commissioners of police across the 36 states, including FCT on gender-based violence.
Mr Henry Uche, Commissioner of Police and Director National Cybercrime Centre, said the police had put in place strategies and measures to help in the fight against the menace and many arrest had been made while culprits were facing prosecution.(NAN)