Nigeria

Nigeria: Child trafficking exposes children to high risk infection

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Child trafficking activities have been identified as unremedied sources of exposure to infections related to HIV, traumatic and psychiatric diseases and illnesses in children.

Executive Secretary, National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic In Persons (NAPTIP), Carol Ndaguba who made this known in a keynote address at the Day of the African Child held in Abuja, stressed that illiteracy, homelessness, abuse, forced labour and sexual exploitation constituted major challenges to children in Nigeria.

Mrs. Ndaguba added that, the problem has been enhanced through illegal recruitment of children as commodities for cheap and forced labour and as commercial handlers, in which cases, their families were sometimes not informed.

She also noted that, children have continually been trafficked within Nigeria as well as between African nations for farm work, household and shop cores.

Ndaguba equally pointed out that cases also abound between African and European countries including Italy, Spain, Britain, France, the Netherlands as well as Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.

She however reiterated that, massive sensitization programmes have been embarked upon by NAPTIP to help combat the crime, rehabilitate victims and prosecute offenders.

The Executive Secretary, further explained that a memorandum of understanding signed with the Beninese Government has helped in the training and rehabilitation of 64 children and indigenes of Edati Local Government Area in Niger State and Edu in Kwara State.

Meanwhile, in his remarks, the representative of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Nigeria, Ayalew Abai noted that the growing incidence of trafficking in children and women has impacted negatively on the efforts of the government, NGOs and international organizations in the fight against rights violation in Nigeria.

Mr. Abai however lauded the recognition given to The Trafficking In Persons Prohibition and Administration Act 2003, by establishing NAPTIP, while also calling on the authorities to sustain its objective.