The State of a Child: Child Trafficking and Abuse

Ayo Animashaun’s article “HELP THE CHILDREN” on page 70 of HIPHOP WORLD magazine, discussed the rate of helplessness of children and women in Nigeria making use of data based analysis. A quick review of his analysis states that, the statistics of mother, newborn and child mortality in Nigeria is scary. According to UNICEF, USAID, Federal Ministry of Health and WHO, every 10 minutes, one woman dies on account of pregnancy or childbirth in Nigeria, giving a total of 53,000 per year. For the ones that survive, extreme poverty and child abuse (which can be physical, physiological and psychological or any act or failure to act that endangers a child) awaits them. Out of all 70 million children in Nigeria, an estimated 15 million of them work, most of them in the informal sector, where they are exposed to dangers of accidents, violence, sexual exploitation, trafficking and HIV related disease.

This information gathered has inspired a part of me to write about the state of children around the world under the popular discussed topic “child trafficking and abuse”.  Mostly, we pretend we do not know things like this happen in our localities and often we just do not care enough to address this situation. Many tag this activity to a business that have surfaced based on the vast spread effects of poverty and now becoming a legal activity in our minds even though the government frowns against it. I really do not have to dwell more on this issue, because it is a well discussed issue that have been dwelled and explained extensively by the press, bloggers and others over time. However for those who truly haven’t had the opportunity of reading or hearing information or about the activities of child trafficking and abuse, I will at the end of this provide a list of sites, books, articles or movies that will serve you better. This topic is coming up as a reminder that we still do have the issue of trafficking and abuse which is going to affect the nearest generation to come. We would also be discussing various ways in which children are been abused and possible aftermaths of this abuse. We will also be finding faults i.e. who to blame, because taking a good look at this activity, there are who to be blame.

In Nigeria, there are those who we refer to as “house girl” “house boy” or better still we call them “house help”. The people that fall into this category are significantly women and children. These children include young boys and girls, but of a truth, female gender is of a larger fraction than the male. UNICEF NIGERIA accounted that the trafficking of children for the purpose of domestic services, prostitution and other forms of exploitative labour is a widespread phenomenon in Nigeria. Children and women are recruited with promises of well-paid jobs in urban centre within the country or abroad, realising too late that they have been lured into a debt bond.

Majority of trafficked children and women are abused. Ayo Animashaun said that this abuse can be physical, physiological and psychological. They are use as prostitutes in clubs and hotels and many other social gatherings, they are also use as a medium of transporting harmful substances such as weapons, drugs and information etc. Aside this, terrorist groups around the world adopt women and children for this purpose. Those who manage to find their way out of trafficking do not find their place in the society. They are either self isolated or isolated by the society. This is because they lack the care and support needed to relate with their immediate environment.

Every trafficked boy and girl, including women end up been abused. However, there are those children who were never trafficked yet they suffer severe abuse within their home and environment. There have been increases in the rate of rape and child right infringement. There are several instances of rape within the family which involves the father, mother, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunties etc. Other rape instance outside the family such as been kidnapped and raped by terrorists or armed men is another violation. It is obvious with the situation in Nigeria and the case of the Chibok Girls in the hands of Boko boys.

Only few number female house help escape molestation from the hands of their masters and guardians.

Another level of child abuse is overlabour and rejection of children from home. Many parents have a way of making the home uncomfortable for their children. This they make happen through various ways, one of such is maltreatment and obnoxious disciplinary approach. In a situation whereby a child have to work for the entire day after school and most often than not, without going to school, such a child might want to escape such abuse and there after fall into another level of abuse. The streets have never been a decent place for any child to grow. Children who run away from their home due to the rate of one abuse or the other end up on the street where they strive to survive and again get abused. Children on the street are faced with situations such as crime, kidnap, theft, threat among others as in the case of Fofo and Odarley on the street of Ghana pictured by Amma Darko in her novel “FACELESS”.

The obvious truth is that our women and children, most especially those who do not have access to education (western) and exposure fall victim of selfish business minded and money seeking husbands, mothers, friends and strangers, who promise to give the best of life to them as a reward of a short time labour, which unknown to the victim is the start of living a life of hell on earth (modern slavery). For instance, watching “Skin Trade” produced by SC FILMS THAILAND, THOR PICTURES, and BMP in the year 2014 tells us what kind of hell it is.

It is therefore necessary at this point in time to redeem our future, our mothers from the hands of the devil himself (Human trade). Trafficking of human was made legitimate in the past and has been one of the major causes of setback in African societies and other Asian and Latin American countries. Now that it is officially illegitimate, let us put hands and forces together to see that human trafficking and child abuse is indeed a past event among humanity.

The Nigerian government have put in place ‘Trafficking in Persons Prohibition and Administration Act’ and likewise, establish ‘National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other related matters (NAPTIP)’ in 2003.

It is important to note that human trafficking is a new model and modern approach to slavery which we have experienced in the past and we are still reaping the ill benefits of this trade till date. If truly you want to save the children or help the children, then help stop human trafficking, fight against child abuse, give the children a voice in the parliament, educate them, feed them, protect them and employ them. The causes of trafficking continue to remain poverty, desperation to escape violence, corruption, unemployment, illiteracy and ignorance.



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