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AN APPRAISAL OF THE NIGERIAN CHILD’S RIGHT AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING


Project topic for Law department

ABSTRACT                                                                          

The phenomenon of the trafficking of human beings, especially children into exploitative sexual and commercial labour as a result of their vulnerability, has begun to attract both national and international attention from the mass media, world leaders, academics, advocacy groups, the clergy and humanity in general. This is against the back drop of the fact that the trafficking of children has a number of far-reaching socio-economic, health and political negative consequences.

Several factors, among them poverty, unemployment, ignorance and family size have been implicated as being reasons why women fall easy preys to the antics of traffickers. From available statistics, it can be said that the Nigerian female child is often trafficked within and outside the country for sexual exploitation while the male children are often trafficked for domestic servitude thereby depriving the children of basic primary education. Fighting the menace requires coordinated and concerted efforts from all stakeholders. This paper presents the nature, causes and consequences of the trafficking of the Nigerian Child as well as the laws that guarantee the right against trafficking of the Nigerian Child.

Empirical evidence indicates that the activities of traffickers, corrupt embassy officials, the country’s porous borders, poverty, refusal of victims to expose traffickers, delay in prosecuting apprehended culprits, youth unemployment among others have synthesized to undermine the combat against the menace. The study makes far-reaching recommendations about how to mitigate the identified obstacles and practically fight the menace with the instrument of available legal frame works

CHAPTER ONE 

Despite the abolition of slavery, even by the United Nations another form of slavery has emerged and its emergence is with a fury hitherto unwitnessed in human history and evolvement- it is the illicit business of human trafficking or do we call it reincarnation of slavery with a technological face? [2].

According to Kofi Annan, a former secretary general of the United Nations, ‘slavery was, in a very real sense, the first international human rights issue to come to fore. It led to the adoption of the first human rights laws and to the creation of the first human rights non-governmental organization. and yet despite the efforts of the international community to combat this abhorrent practice, it is still widely prevalent in all its insidious forms, old and new. The list is painfully long and includes traditional chattel slavery; bonded labour; serfdom; and forced labour, including of children, sexual exploitation, domestic servitude and ritualistic and religious reasons.” [3]

Human trafficking has become a fast growing global criminal activity, it affects just about every country in the world. It is one of the great human right challenges of our time and the actions of increasing numbers of nations around the world make it clear they share this commitment [4]. It was reported that the director general of the international organization on migration(IOM), Ambassador William Lacy Swing stated that :” human trafficking global network rakes in between $35 billion and 40billion annually, effectively making it the third biggest global crime after drugs and guns trafficking. It however remains a deadly and inhumane business that regards human beings as mere commodities. [5]

In an effort to bring the issue of human trafficking into spotlights, CNN has embarked on a freedom project which is to project the horror of modern-day slavery and amplify the voices of the victims [6] and like many other hidden criminal issues accurate statistics on trafficking can be difficult to obtain.. The United States of America government estimates anywhere between 100,000 and 300,000 children could be at risk of being trafficked each year .the United States of America State Department also states  as many as 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the united states each year as well [7].

The global report on trafficking in persons 2012, a publication of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC),  shows that 27% of all victims detected globally in trafficking are children and of every three child victims, two are girls and one is a boy; The assumption is that trafficking for sexual exploitation is more common in Europe, Central Asia and the Americas. Trafficking for forced labour is more frequently detected in Africa and the Middle East as well as in South and East Asia and the Pacific [8].  Concentrating on Africa, global report on trafficking in persons reveals that about 68% of victims of trafficking in persons reported in the African and Middle East region are children [9]

In Nigeria, both our print and electronic media are replete with unpleasant and distasteful news and reports of human trafficking, child labour, illegal cross border travels by young Nigerian women and children to Europe and Asia for prostitution [10]. Human trafficking has become so entrenched in Nigeria and has taken such dimensions that the nation has been dubbed an endemic country in trafficking of human beings [11]. Many cases of trafficking in persons start as an attempt to improve the conditions of life, sometimes circumstances transform those attempts into incidences of exploitation and abuse. Deeply rooted social values and practices, help create vulnerabilities that make victims of trafficking in persons easy targets for criminals’ intent on profiting from those individuals’ hopes of a better life. Human traffickers prey on people who are poor, isolated and weak. Issues such as disempowerment, social exclusion and economic vulnerability are the result of policies and practices that marginalize entire groups of people and makes them particularly vulnerable to being trafficked. [12]

It is noteworthy that the global awareness for the protection of children’s rights has been on the increase in recent years in fact the Nobel peace prize was awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai for their struggle against suppression of children and for young people’s rights, including the right to education in 2014 [13].

Hence this research is directed towards analyzing the global phenomenon of the child’s right against human trafficking with view to proffer recommendations for combating this menace in Nigeria




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