The celebrated crime journalist, Juliana Francis, is set to unveil her new book on child trafficking into sex slavery.
The book, We Are Priceless, is aimed at checkmating children’s sex slavery, trafficking in general, child labour, child abuse, among other forms of crime against innocent children.
The We Are Priceless Book Launch Committee said in a statement that it would be unveiled at 11am on August 31, 2023, at the POWA Hall, Oduduwa, off Sobo Arobiodu, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos.
The launch will be headlined by dignitaries from all walks of life.
The Chairman of the event is the former Inspector General of Police (IGP) now the Chair of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Dr. Solomon Arase, the Speakers are Ms Olufunke Fayemi of the Report Women Network and chief producer, Voice of Nigeria and Mrs. Evelyn Usman, the vice-president, Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN) while the Special Keynote Speaker is Dr. Godwin Morka, former director, National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
Others are the President of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPSS), Otunba Yomi Odubela, as the Guest Speaker, former Presidential aide, Mr. Femi Adesina, as Special Guest/Book Reviewer, while the Special Guest of Honour is Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Frank Mba.
Other Special Guests of Honour are the CEO, Raimi Salau Nigeria Limited, Alhaji Raimi Salau, the Director-General (DG), NAPTIP, Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi, and the Chair/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
“We Are Priceless” centres on the escape of five courageous children from sex slavery, which they were deceived into by the people who their parents and guardians trusted.
According to the author, the book reminds us of how vulnerable children continue to be sacrificed on the altar of unbridled wealth accumulation via the selfish quest of adults who should protect them.
She said: “For too long, parents have been fooled into giving their children to human traffickers and merchants of child labour.
“In Nigeria, children as young as eight years old, 10, and 13 are trafficked into sex slavery, child labour, and other crimes and many are killed in the process.”
Francis disclosed that the menace of human trafficking could be fought by first catching the young ones, educating them to know about the ill, and joining in stopping it.
“It is a campaign tool for all sectors, showing the realities of human trafficking and urging Nigerians to join the fight to checkmate the menace,” she added.
The author studied Literature-In-English at the University of Ilorin. She started her journalism career in 2002 with The Sun newspaper. Francis was at different times the Crime Editor of the Nigerian Compass, the Newswatch newspaper and the New Telegraph.
As a journalist, Francis has passion for unearthing crimes against humanity, especially the girl-child.
She has won several awards and received multiple nominations across the globe. She is the first female overall winner of the coveted Wole Soyinka Prize for Investigative Reporting in Nigeria.
Francis, a media consultant, is the CEO of Youthlens Initiative Development and the publisher of Youthlens.com. She is an alumnus of the ReportWomen Female Reporters Leadership Programme (FRLP), 2017 set and also a trainer and mentor to budding journalists.