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This study investigated the causes and consequences of child trafficking as perceived married adults in Shaki West Local Government Area, Oyo State.

A total of 220 questionnaire forms were administered to adult persons in Shaki West Local Government Area Oyo State.

Frequency count, percentages and t-test methods were used to analyse demographic data of the respondents and test the null hypotheses respectively and Educational Qualification.

The hypotheses were tested at 0.05 alpha level to determine the significant difference.
On the causes and consequences of child trafficking as expressed by married and adults it was discovered that the major causes of child trafficking are high level of illiteracy among children, wide spread of poverty, desire to get rich-quiet on the part of many parent/families and inability of parents to provide well for their children and the least possible cases included traditional culture that encourages fostering of children, parents ignorance of the effects of child trafficking and Greed for money and wealth.
On the consequences of child trafficking, the major consequences was centered on increase in the spread of STDs including HIV/AIDs among children, rejection by family members and increase in government spending on rehabilitation of child trafficking and the least possible consequences includes negative impact on the economy, leading to stigmatization on those involved and it could cause death of the victims. Based on the findings of this study.

There was no significant difference on the perceived causes and consequences of child trafficking as expressed by married, adults in Shaki West Local Government Area, Oyo State on the basis of gender and Educational background.
It was also recommended that parents, guardians, government, counsellors and Non-Government Organization (NGO’s) are to be enlightened on the evils of child trafficking and some enlightenment programmes should be provided to the children to re-orientate them about the danger of engaging in child trafficking.

Lastly, the idea that educative programmes through public media on the risk of being involved in child trafficking be intensified was also raised further studies were suggested to be carried out directly on these children who have been or are still involved in child trafficking.


Background to the Study
Trafficking of children is synonymous with exploitation child labour.

By definition, child trafficking involves agents for the illegal movement of human beings for illicit commercial and business dealings. Based on current knowledge (Out, 2003), Nigeria is a major supplier, consumer and also a transit route for human trafficking.

Million of children driven into different types of exploitative labour often become the most vulnerable groups (UNICEF, June 2002).
In Nigeria and as in the other countries of the sub-region, there are strong demands for the girl-child as domestic house helps assisting couples to bring up their children for a fee (Odunda, 2002). Many of these children are also engaged as workers in the many bars, eateries and hotels in the major cities.

For instance, Abuja child traffickers draw their victims from Kaduna, Benue and Kogi State. Many of these children “graduate” from these duties into prostitutes.

According to Out (2003), in 1996, some 4000 children were trafficked from Cross River State to various parts of the country and beyond these were mostly used as labours in the coca and other plantations in South-Western Nigeria and Ivory Coast. Some of them were taken through Oron on hazardous ocean journey to Gabon. Other were taken through Mfum and Obudu to work in the cocoa plantations in Cameroon.

These Akwa Ibom and Cross River routes are also patronized by South Easterners, who control most of the retail trade outlets in Gabon. However, the most sophisticated and targeted at the sex trade in Europe are traffickers from Edo State (Diana, 1985).

The glamour displayed by a few returnee victims and other factors have combined to make trafficking business very lucrative and difficult to eradicate.
It is also found out many parents in Nigeria now persuade their daughters to rush for what they ignorantly perceived as gold mining and opportunity for making a lot of moneys (Out, 2003). Unfortunately, so many reports in the National Dailies and magazines showed that some very particular portions of the country have almost been eaten up by this ugly act.

For example, Olowolabi (1999) stated, until the recent repatriation, stories about Edo girls working as prostitutes in Italy and other foreign countries had been widely and frequently bandies about.

And for non-residents of the state, such stories had been treated as fairly tales. But for those in the ancient city of Benin, the migration to Italy by their woman for commercial sex enterprise is a decade old reality.
Olowolabi (1999) also said that out of 743 Nigerians deported recently, 65 were indigenes of Edo State, two from Imo, two from Anambra, two from Delta, one from Imo, one fro Cross River and one from Osun and The Punch Newspaper 27,200 under the caption. How is prostitution in Edo State? As reported by Odunuga (2000) noted that for every repatriation of trafficking in child from Europe especially Italy, in the last three years, at least 70 percent of young girls were Edo indigenes.

This means that, the menace has eaten deep down into the fabrics of the nation generally and Edo State in particular.
Despite the knowledge of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and the sharp rise in sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), the rate of female prostitution has dramatically increased in the society and trafficking of children (girls) for prostitution has become the order of the day in Nigeria.

For instance, Egua (2000) reported that, there are not less than 10,000 Nigerian girls involving prostitution in Rome and the neighbouring regions. During the interview session with the Nigerian Ambassador to Italy, Chief Jack Okpoyo, he stated that, prostitution in the country (Italy) by Nigerian girls, mostly of Edo State origin, was causing a lot of embarrassment to the Nigerian Authorities and affecting relationship between the two countries.
In spite of the fact that in many societies the traditional attitudes towards trafficking in child as defined by region and custom is basically immoral.

The sales of commercial service thrive well because there is a ready market for it.

Therefore, the child trafficking profession has come to stay in almost every society. Bearing in mind the dramatic increase in trafficking of children, Nigerian young girls’ troop though all possible means to Italy and other foreign countries.

Just as people in various fields of work have the reasons that, motivate them to such profession and it varies from one profession to another, while some may be for economic factors, others may be for social status and many other factors, so also the prostitutes claim to have reasons.
According to Olowolabi (1999), for those who successfully find their ways out of the country, coping with life in Italy is akin to walking in the shadow of death.

According to reported published in Echo News, a magazine of Nigeria affairs in Italy, many of Nigerian girls have been assassinated by either angry clients or unknown assailants.

Many of them too have died of sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) including Aids (Akinpelu & Yusuf, 2004). If then the above statement is true, why do these young girls still offer themselves for trafficking?

The first lady of Edo State, Her Excellency Mrs. Eki Igbinedion in “The Punch” Newspaper of October 27, 2000 under the heading “How is prostitution in Edo State?” said the entire society should be blamed.

The widespread poverty in the land, she opined, led to outright break down in family values and social disorientation arising from cultural alienation.

The desire to belong and search for self-identification.

The desire to belong and search for self-identity have led to frenzy – the lure for crass materialism.

Hence, when Europe beckoned, even with all the trappings, like AIDS, death etc, many young girls fell for it and some were perhaps pushed into it by their parents in anticipation of the dollar rain.
Trafficking of young girls for prostitution out of Nigeria has never been restricted to one geographical or ethnic area, but it is more province within a particular ethnic group that is Edo girls.

For instance, Nigeria Ambassador to Italy wrote a letter to the Edo State House of Assembly to do something to stop their young girls from trooping out of the country to Italy for prostitution, which shows that if necessary actions are not taken by the Edo State government and the Federal government to stop the act of child trafficking and women trafficking this will continue to bring more embarrassment to the state and the country at large, and many people will contract sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDs, since the prostitutes harbour all these venereal diseases.

It therefore means that, unless the governments act fast to stop trafficking of young adults for prostitution, labouring, or any other means and look into the root, the number will continue to increase (Akinpelu and Yusuf, 2004).
Trafficking in persons, particularly women and teenagers for the purpose of sexual exploitation and forced labour, has become a phenomenon of global dimension.

In Europe alone, it is estimated that around 500,000 young girls per year are trafficked from poorer regions in the world.

Sexual factors account for the desire of children to look for in other countries.

Among these are children unequal rights and access to formal labour, children’s restricted abilities to gain power over their own lives in their home countries for want of a better phase which can be called increasing feminization of poverty (WOTCLEF, 2000).
For those involved, trafficking, especially in children, has become a very profitable activity.

The United Nations estimates that they make more than seven billion dollars annually from trafficking in human beings.

Trafficking in human beings particularly children is now variously conceived and approached as: a moral, criminal, migration human rights, also becoming, obvious that since trafficking is an international phenomenon, international cooperation in combating it is also imperative (WOTCLEF, 2000).

Trafficked children are commodities they are bought, sold and transported according to supply and demand.

The victims can be as young as 5 years old. In October, 1999, the 110 international programme on the Elimination of Child labour (IPEC) with the financial support of the United States Department of Labour (USDL) launched a major sub-regional programme to combat child trafficking for labour exploitation in west name’s latest report.

“When she (the intermediary) came, she gave me 25,000 (us dollars) to take care of any children. She promised to find my son a job and said that I would receive some money every month.

Thanked God, because I thought that I had at last found a way to take care of seven children.

I had no idea what she really had in mind for my child”.

This lament by a Togolese mother reflects perhaps the most typical form of child trafficking in west and Central Africa.

But the cause is by no means exceptional. Nigeria reports that in 1996, some 4,000 children were trafficked children between 1995 and 1999?

(NAPTIP, 2003).
In Sokoto State, Nigeria, kidnapped children were sold for amount ranging form 50,000 to 100,000 naira or America dollars 500 to 1,000, to be used as labourers or as ritual sex objects.

In addition, it is clearly understandable that, Nigeria is now a “victim” of child trafficking and other forms of trafficking, mostly for force labour, but also for sexual exploitations servitude and slavery.

Some recent developments are also providing indications that trafficking might be carried on for ritual purposes and for the purpose of organ transplant (WOTCLEF, 2000).
A paper presented at a two day workshop for law enforcement officers 27th – 28th of February, 2006 at Ilorin Kwara State by U.S. Haruna, LLB (Hons), BL, LLM, Stated:

This time around, not through the brutal raids of the early medieval slave dealers, but through a subtle means of deceit and enticement and sometimes, through the abuse of the position of authority.

This practice came to public awareness in Nigeria in the early 2000 through the instrumentality of some SGOs particularly women Trafficking and Child Eradications Foundation (WOTCLEF) who pioneered the campaign against trafficking in persons.

Subsequently Nigeria signed and ratified the trafficking protocol supplementing the Transnational organized crime convention otherwise known as paemo convention in 2000.
It is interesting to note however, that our existing penal legislations variously provide against these practices and allied of fences such as kidnapping, slavery, adduction etc that the United Nations Protocol seeks to address.

The provisions are not wholistic in addressing the multidimensional nature of trafficking persons.

Coupled with this, the laws were lamely enforced and prosecuted either because the victims were persuaded by personal reasons not report or that the traffickers employed sophisticated method to beat the law.
Trafficking in persons (prohibition) Law Enforcement Administration Act 2003 and the subsequent establishment of a national agency is the national response to the growing wave of human right abuses associated with the modern day slavery.

The law is the domestication of the trafficking protocol.

The law which was promulgated in July, 2003 seeks to deal with the obnoxious business of trade in human beings. It is a comprehensive piece of legislation aimed at fighting trafficking in persons and other allied offences (both internal and external trafficking) in its entire ramification.

It did not only create offences with stiff penalties but also established an administrative structure and an entity known as National Agency for prohibition of Trafficking in person and other related matters (NPTIP) to administer and enforce the law.

The agency is heated by an executive secretary and has four specialized units, namely, investigation, legal, public enlightenment, and the counselling and rehabilitation.
The agency is empowered among others to enforce the due administration of the Act as well as coordination of all laws on trafficking in persons and related offences and the enforcement of those laws as well as adopting measures to increase the effectiveness of eradication of trafficking in persons.

A comprehensive trafficking law will provide an additional tool for addressing the problem without losing the existing mechanisms.

It will also permit more effective tracking of cases and record keeping, improve administrative coordination, and provide a model for local legislation at the state level, provide adequate protection and assistance for trafficked person’s adequate protection and assistance for trafficked generally (WOTCLEF, 2000).
The researcher mindful of the menace of child trafficking attempts to investigate the causes and consequences of child trafficking as perceived by adults in Ilorin metropolis.

Statement of the Problem
Despite the public condemnation of child trafficking the rush for these western countries mostly to Italy in Europe amongst the young girls between 12 and 19 years of age has remained an obsession (Odunnuga, 2000). From all indications, the reason is not far fetched from the fallouts of the economic recession that the nation (Nigeria) has experienced especially in the last one decade and in particular the past 2 years of global economic melt down.
Although, poverty and joblessness are inclusive, family setting and other factors too are strong contributory factors.

To support this, Olowolabi (1999) reported that, “among the recent deportees are some girl who had not spent more than two months in Italy. Joy, a 24 years old girl falls into this category.

Tell Magazine learnt that she left Nigeria only in January 1999. Before she could make the journey, her parents sold some of their household items and portions of their farmland to offset her traveling expenses.

Their calculation was after about six months; their daughter would send dollars home.
Some of these parents do not even give up after the deportation of their daughters as some a long way in making further arrangement.

A parent even used her building plan as a collateral for the money she borrowed is Adjoba originally comes from the village of Bondonkou (Cote .d’ Ivoire), but has lived in Abidjan since the fifties.

She is a widow and has four adult children without a fixed job, she ties to pay monthly rent of N17,500 by peddling at the district market. If this fails to provide enough to live, how can she manage?

By recruiting young girls aged 7 to 15 years with promise of help preparing for marriage. Then, she offers their services as domestics. The elderly woman collects their salaries every month.

When the girls reach puberty, she may be returned to her village where Adjiba contributes to the girl’s dowry.
The causes of child started pointing accusing fingers on people who are putting in their best in fighting against further existence of the illegal trade.

To support this, Odunuga (2000) said, some parents have accused Eki (the wife of Edo State Governor) of truncating the “genuine” efforts being made by these children to live a better life”.

It has also been discovered that these trafficked young girls and boys who are now full time international prostitutes, domestic services, workers in manufacturing industries and sweatship likely done in India and Pakistan are well respected at home when they pay visit during festivities such as Christmas.

They are popularly referred to as “Italos”. They build fanciful houses in places like government reservation Area (GRA) and in big cities and towns.

The parents of “Italos” in most communities are now being honoured with chieftaincy titles (Olowolabi, 1999).

This ugly situation has then called for Government intervention, organization bodies and people in general to fight against this.

The wife of the vice president of Nigeria, Alhaja Titi Atiku Abubakar is working against this under an NGO (WOTCLEF) which she heads and she is doing her possible best to launch this (WOTCLEF) in every part of the country to fight against the incidence of child trafficking.

She is sponsoring an NTA programme titled ‘Zero” which is an enlightening programme to the public on child trafficking.

Also on the 21st of February 2005, she launched her (WOTCLEF) in Bayelsa State which she believed having it in all state capitals would be source of facing the problem of child trafficking squarely.
The efforts of some researchers also cannot be over emphasized.

Some researchers have worked extensively such as Akinpelu & Yusuf, (2004) which carried out their research work on the “factors influencing trafficking in Nigerian” Out (2003) also worked on “causes, consequences and the way forward of child trafficking for commercial, business dealings and labour”.

These and many other researchers also have done lots of work on this issue that is eaten up the dignity of childhood.

In spite of all these efforts by various NGO’s governmental organizations and researchers, the problem seems not to be solved or decreased.

This motivated the researcher of the need to find out the caused and consequences of child trafficking as perceived by adults in Shaki West Local Government Area, Oyo State.

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