Baby-factory uncovered in Umuaka, Nigeria

Nobody knew about that unsuspicious house in Umuaka, Imo State in Eastern Nigeria that hosted 23 pregnant girls and four babies, rescued by a police raid on May 11, 2013.

However, the issue of baby-trafficking is widespread in Nigeria. In the same week another raid unveiled a baby-factory in Enugu, where six girls under 17 and all pregnant were set free by police.

Nigerian police had uncovered several alleged baby-factories in recent years, but investigations about the intended buyers are hard to conduct, although the owners have been found.

Arinze Orakwue of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other Related Matters (NAPTIP) stated the black market for the newborns includes those who want to avoid the legal adoption system. Families in Nigeria who cannot conceive have to deal with a harsh social confrontation that often leads them to social exclusion; adoption is not accepted culturally.

“What is happening in those states is a dangerous development. It is simply a criminalisation of the child adoption law,” Mr Orakwue said.

A United Nations report claimed human trafficking, including child-trafficking, is the third most common crime in Nigeria behind fraud and drug trafficking.

In May of 2011 in southeastern Abia state, police freed 32 pregnant girls who said they had been offered to sell their babies for between 25,000 and 30,000 naira (some $200), depending on the sex of the baby.

Nigeria is the African top oil producer with 2.600.000 barrels a day.  How come that poverty is still a plague for this population? How come that around 160 million people still live on less than two dollars a day? How come child-trafficking became a miserable source of profit?

Laura Zuffi


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