Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Nigeria: Stepping Up the Fight Against Child-Trafficking

from Integrated Regional Information Networks (United Nations)

An estimated six million Nigerian children are at risk of trafficking for domestic and forced labour, prostitution and pornography every year, according to a national survey conducted by the International Labour Organization in 2003. The Nigerian government and non-governmental organisations are trying to fight the problem - through repatriation, awareness and prosecution. Globally, child trafficking is one of the fastest growing organised crimes with an estimated 1.2 million victims per year, of whom 32% are African, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). In view of the clandestine nature of trafficking, accurate and reliable figures are hard to get. But with between 50% - 70% of the population living on less than a dollar a day in Nigeria, the phenomenon is widespread. “Every state has a variant of child trafficking,” estimated Orakwue Arinze, spokesperson for NAPTIP, the National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons. He said in the largely Muslim northern states, traffickers take children to Saudi Arabia. In the southern states, children are trafficked within the country or to neighbouring countries, he said.

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