By Ibiyemi Mathew
Global technology giant, Meta has launched an application in Nigeria that will aid in locating abducted children.
The app, Amber alert is designed to increase the chances of finding missing children by putting more people on the lookout for them.
AMBER Alert Programme launched on Facebook in 2015 and since then has assisted in hundreds of successful child endangerment cases in the US and around the world.
In June 2022, Meta added Instagram to the AMBER Alerts Programme across the world by making it available in 28 additional countries, and now, in Nigeria.
Speaking at the launch event, Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi, the Director General of NAPTIP said, “Today we are partnering with Meta to launch the AMBER Alert Programme on Facebook and Instagram to help ensure faster response in finding missing children. With these alerts, more people can be on the lookout for kids reported missing in their vicinity and report all leads to relevant authorities. NAPTIP cherishes every aspect of the intending collaboration and we are indeed glad to be on board with Meta.”
As part of the launch of AMBER Alerts in Nigeria, Meta and NAPTIP will be educating users in Nigeria on how to identify AMBER Alerts on their feed and what to do when they see an alert.
In partnership with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), when an AMBER Alert is activated by law enforcement, the alert will appear on the Facebook and Instagram Feed of users within the designated search area, enabling them to share the information instantly with friends or contact the authorities if they have leads.
AMBER Alert is designed to include important information about the missing child such as a photo description, location of the abduction, and other relevant and available information to aid in immediately identifying the missing child.
Emily Vacher, Meta’s Director of Trust and Safety, said, “Already available across 28 countries globally, we are proud to partner with NAPTIP to make AMBER Alert available in Nigeria – the second African country to join this programme. When there is a reported case of a missing child, the most valuable thing one can do is share information as quickly as possible. By working with law enforcement in helping to share the right information with the right people, we hope that missing children will be safely reunited with their families faster.”
In emphasising the importance of this launch, Adaora Ikenze, Meta’s Head of Public Policy, Anglophone West Africa, said, “This partnership with NAPTIP is another important milestone in reinforcing our ongoing commitment to Nigeria. We know our apps can be used as a force for good, and the AMBER Alert launch across Instagram and Facebook highlights this.”