The Menace Of Child Trafficking And Abuse In Nigeria
The English oxford online dictionary defined a child as a “young human below the age of puberty or the legal age of majority”. Child Abuse occurs when a person causes harm to a child (a person under the age of majority). It consists of actions done to a child, which could be physical, emotional or sexual. In our daily Nigerian culture, parents use physical discipline to teach a child what is right or wrong. However, it crosses the line of discipline if it is done out of anger or where it makes a child to live in constant fear. There is no doubt that a child who has experienced abuse can make no sense of their experiences and can manifest itself in some way at a later date. Cases of child abuse in Nigeria have become recurrent in recent times. Child abuse was recognized as long as the late nineteenth century, it has generally been clouded in a discourse of cruelty and neglect or subsumed within a more general concern about juvenile delinquency. A recent report by the UNICEF showed that majority of Nigerian children suffer violent abuse and trafficking for the purpose of domestic service, prostitution and other forms of exploitative labour. Trafficking was first defined in international law through the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in persons ,Especially Women and Children 2000 which is also known as the ‘paleromo protocol’. This protocol stipulates that Trafficking in person shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons by means of threat or by use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, Deception of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability, or of the receiving of payment or benefits to achieve the consent of persons. As much as child abuse has been recognized and has a reliable statistics ,trafficking on the other hand has no reliable estimation of number of children trafficked internally and externally primarily because of its surreptitious nature. However it was reported in the NAPTIP magazine of 2016 the six out of ten trafficked persons are Nigerians. Several people have their reasons for these absurd acts but popular reasons are poverty, illiteracy, Ignorance and unemployment. No violence against a child is justifiable. All violence against children are preventable, yet the in depth study on violence against children confirms that such violence exist in every country in the world and to an extent it is socially acceptable and approved. This study will create the necessary awareness about cases of child abuse and trafficking in Nigeria and it will also help to mitigate adult justification. It is the duty of every adult to protect and provide for any child under their care and not batter them.
1.1 Background of the Study
It is an incontrovertible fact that a child is considered important and cherished in every part of the world. In many societies from ancient to the present modern era, the birth of a child is celebrated with pomp and pageantry. In families, especially among the newly married couples, the arrival of a child always marks a turning point in the history and life of the family.
Trafficking is not a new phenomenon in Nigeria. It comes with a new trend that’s hard to quantify; children are traffic within and outside Nigeria for many purposes . Furthermore, internally most of the victims are children whose numbers are not known it comes with a new trend called baby factory which promotes trafficking in Nigeria . It is a public health challenge affecting the world with only a few programs to address it . Similarly, Bale and Soodater are of the opinion that the total number of trafficked victims is two times that of olden days’ slavery, hence the need to review its impact on the population. Trafficking children is an exploitative act that jeopardizes child survival.
Exploitation refers to the use of a person or his properties (resources) for personal gains or benefits . In an economic point of view, exploitation refers to a central concept in which an institution or organization treats a human being as a resource, with little or no consideration to their wellbeing . Furthermore, the use of a child for personal gain or benefit sexually is called child sexual exploitation .
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The present legal responses to the problem of child trafficking often reflect a deep reluctance to address the socioeconomic root causes of the problem. Since child trafficking is perceived as an act of violence, most responses focus predominantly on prosecuting traffickers and protecting trafficked children . However, child trafficking is a multidimensional social problem caused by socio-economic challenges as well as demand for the exploitative use of children. There is a reason behind the emphasis on poverty as one of the fundamental causes of child trafficking, simply because most victims are trafficked from poor countries to rich countries. It is important to mention that for child trafficking to continue, there should exist some socio-legal environment which encourages the menace . It is for this reason that all aspects contributing to the vulnerability of children to trafficking recruitment must be looked at. To this end, the factors that facilitate child trafficking are extremely complex and inter-connected but can be divided into two, namely: the push and the pull factors . The study will therefore make an attempt to examine these factors right from the bud and come up with more practical suggestions that will go a long way in fighting the scourge of child trafficking and abuse in Nigeria.
Furthermore, the list provided above cannot be said to be exhaustive, other causes include traditions such as the placement of children away from their homes, violence and lack of education are of equal impact . The impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic produces its own legacy of widows or orphan-headed households . While, the demand for cheap manual labour and the high demand for paid sex in destination countries, the lack of information on the risks involved (ignorance), together with parents offering or selling their children for financial advantage, nourish the pull factors or purposes of trafficking in children.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the menace of child trafficking and abuse in Nigeria.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The significance of this study is that it intends to bring to the fore, the crime and evils of child trafficking and abuse in Nigeria. The study is also important because it attempt to bridge the existing scholarship gap between human traffickers and human right activities by drawing the attention of the former to the phenomenon which has become a canker worm, eating deep into the developmental potentials and structure of every human society in Africa and beyond.
This study will also serve as a source material for researchers in related field, at the same time, a contribution to the body of knowledge.
1.6 Limitation of the Study
There is no study undertaken by a researcher that is perfect. The imperfection of any research is always due to some factors negatively affecting a researcher in the course of carrying out research. Therefore, time constraint has shown no mercy to the researcher. The limited time has to be shared among many alternative uses, which includes reading, attending lectures and writing of this research, also distance and its attendant costs of travelling to obtain information which may enhance the writing of this study was a major limitation.
1.7 Research Methodology
In order to successfully do a research of this magnitude and in relation to the underlying purpose of this study, this project intend to make use of library based materials, desktop statute books, decided cases, as well as juristic opinions both in journals, articles and textbooks.
Conclusion and Recommendation
This chapter presents the conclusion and recommendations for further studies.
Child trafficking has been identified as both a crime and disease which have eaten deep into the fabric of the Nigeria society with diverse consequences both on the victim and the society at large. This is despite numerous institutional and policies frame work put in place by the Nigerian government to fight the menace. The study was able to identify that the growing rate of child tracking in Nigeria is basically not because government is lacking in its responsibilities in addressing the menace, but that these efforts were only restricted towards prosecution and rehabilitation of trafficked victims thereby neglecting to address the root causes of child trafficking. In order to effectively fight the menace of child trafficking in Nigeria, the government most extend measures put in place to fight child trafficking beyond prosecution of traffickers and rehabilitation of trafficked victims to include a concrete and practical steps toward napping the root causes of child traffics from the bud.
It is recommended that Nigerian government should address the root causes of child trafficking in Nigeria by not providing a more deliberate and practical means of eradicating poverty, provision of employment, education opportunities among its teaming youth, as well as amending all the legal and institutional framework aimed at fighting child trafficking to cover new trend of child trafficking such as baby harvesting among others are identified as factors responsible for the continue raise in child trafficking in Nigeria.
The Menace Of Child Trafficking And Abuse In Nigeria
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