THE MENACE OF CHILD TRAFFICKING AND ABUSE IN NIGERIA
The English oxford online dictionary defined a child as a “young human below the age of puberty or the legal age of majority”. Child Abuse occurs when a person causes harm to a child (a person under the age of majority). It consists of actions done to a child, which could be physical, emotional or sexual. In our daily Nigerian culture, parents use physical discipline to teach a child what is right or wrong. However, it crosses the line of discipline if it is done out of anger or where it makes a child to live in constant fear. There is no doubt that a child who has experienced abuse can make no sense of their experiences and can manifest itself in some way at a later date. Cases of child abuse in Nigeria have become recurrent in recent times.
Child abuse was recognized as long as the late nineteenth century, it has generally been clouded in a discourse of cruelty and neglect or subsumed within a more general concern about juvenile delinquency. A recent report by the UNICEF showed that majority of Nigerian children suffer violent abuse and trafficking for the purpose of domestic service, prostitution and other forms of exploitative labour.
Trafficking was first defined in international law through the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in persons ,Especially Women and Children 2000 which is also known as the ‘paleromo protocol’. This protocol stipulates that Trafficking in person shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons by means of threat or by use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, Deception of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability, or of the receiving of payment or benefits to achieve the consent of persons.
As much as child abuse has been recognized and has a reliable statistics ,trafficking on the other hand has no reliable estimation of number of children trafficked internally and externally primarily because of its surreptitious nature. However it was reported in the NAPTIP magazine of 2016 the six out of ten trafficked persons are Nigerians. Several people have their reasons for these absurd acts but popular reasons are poverty, illiteracy, Ignorance and unemployment.
No violence against a child is justifiable. All violence against children are preventable, yet the in depth study on violence against children confirms that such violence exist in every country in the world and to an extent it is socially acceptable and approved.
This study will create the necessary awareness about cases of child abuse and trafficking in Nigeria and it will also help to mitigate adult justification. It is the duty of every adult to protect and provide for any child under their care and not batter them.