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Growing menace of baby factories in Nigeria

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By Mercy Kelani

Human trafficking is a violation of human rights, and should be addressed.

Despite the efforts of some government agencies and security to tackle criminal-minded people with devilish intentions in commercializing and monetizing baby-making factories, the disturbing trend still exist. This ominous act coupled with secret operations, involves the exploitation of weak women and the horrible monetizing of their babies born in an illegal and unhygienic process which has consequently been condemned. The state and non-state actors have expressed their opinion that the trafficking is a violation of human rights and they implored authorities to evaluate these loathsome practices.

However, the obstinate resistance of the agents practicing this criminality has violated understanding and reason. This act is against the constitution, it is mandatory to expose, explore and investigate the shame of baby-making factories while imploring civil societies and the government to take legal actions against the obnoxious crime. It was highlighted that baby factories are most times disguised as maternity homes where women are got pregnant by men paid to donate their sperm, and unwillingly compelled to give birth for the aim of selling their new babies.

Vulnerable women with socio-economic challenges are preyed upon.

Some of these baby factories are operated in secrecy while some, with support of some top public officials, operate publicly, preying on desperate women who face socioeconomic difficulties like unwanted pregnancy, poverty or single motherhood stigmatization. The mothers of the babies in these factories are left to psychological and physical trauma while the babies are sold, to child traffickers. The price paid by humans for the babies in the factories is immeasurable. Many women are promised financial assistance by luring them into the facilities, but it turns out to be a trap of exploitation.

While staying in the factories, the women suffer inadequate healthcare service, emotional abuse, verbal and physical abuse and low-standard living conditions. Psychologically, the effect and consequences of these acts on the women are serious as their joy and dignity of nurturing their children are taken away from them. Also, the babies’ future are taken as commodities in the hands of ruthless human beings. As a result, it is important to identify the cause of the foundation of baby factories before its dangers can be addressed.

Law enforcement and legislation mechanism should be strengthened.

It was also noted that the causes of baby factories which geared the women into messing themselves in this malicious circle are shortage of access to reproductive health services, gullibility, poverty, desperation and illiteracy. In addition, unavailability of social support mechanism, corruption and debilitated law enforcement promote the criminality of this enterprise. Consequently, societal behaviours towards single motherhood, marginalized women with stigma in the society worsening the weakness of the women, and leaving them indecisive to exploitation.

Prohibition of baby factories in public and media opinion has to be evaluated from multi-faceted stands. The strengthening of law enforcement and legislation mechanism by the Nigerian government is the first approach to guarantee that the perpetrators in baby factories are severely dealt with, using the legal constitution. Government task forces such as social workers, healthcare professionals and law enforcement agencies are suggested to be deployed in investigating and eradicating criminal networks. Also, efforts on empowering women and creating economic opportunities, and the enlightenment and creation of public awareness on sexual education should be established.

Collaboration with neighbouring countries will be helpful.

Additionally, International collaboration is needed in curbing the transnational issue of child trafficking in order to address the consequences of baby factories. It was revealed that Nigeria needs support of foreign organisations by collaborating with international bodies and neighbouring countries to strengthen intelligence gathering, border control and sharing of ideas to stop child trafficking. The operation of baby factories in Nigeria is a stigma on the nation and this has proven that the constitution is not effective enough to stop the trade of babies. And to the victims, the government should provide reintegration programmes and effective rehabilitation for them.

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