Poverty & Get-Rich-Quick Syndrome Blamed For Rising Cases of Baby Factories & Child Trafficking

Abuja, Nigeria. June 23rd, 2015 A recent poll conducted by NOIPolls Limited has revealed that about 6 in 10 Nigerians (63 percent) believe that ‘Poverty’ is the major factor responsible for the rising cases of baby factories and child trafficking in Nigeria. This is followed by the quest for quick money also identified as ‘Get-rich-quick syndrome’ (23 percent);Unemployment’ (10 percent); ‘Stigma against teenage pregnancy’ and ‘Stigma against pregnancy out of wedlock’ (6 percent each) among other factors cited by Nigerians. Furthermore 78 percent of Nigerians stated that they are aware of the recent cases of baby factories in Nigeria; with the South-East geopolitical region having the highest level of awareness compared to other regions. These findings corroborate previous findings from studies conducted by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), which identified Nigeria as one of the major hubs for trafficking in children and women.[1]  

More findings revealed that a larger proportion (94 percent) of respondents who were aware of child-trafficking cases, had no idea of the existence of baby factories within their locality. However, 6 percent of the respondents most especially from the South-East zone (16 percent) claimed that they were aware of a baby factory located somewhere in their locality.  Consequently, almost all the respondents indicated willingness to report cases of baby factories to the appropriate authorities (96 percent), and to support new laws & legislation to eradicate baby factories & child trafficking in Nigeria (99 percent).

Brief Background

A Baby factory or baby farm, is a location where young girls and women are either coerced or tricked to get pregnant, have babies and give up their babies, which are later sold for adoption or sacrificed in black magic or witchcraft to prospective buyers.[2] It also relates to situations where teenagers or young adults with unwanted pregnancies are lured with the offer to help them with an abortion, or in the bid to shield societal stigma and fear of their parents, look for any safe haven to get rid of such pregnancies and return to their normal life without suspicion. Hence, they end up in baby factories where they are advised to sell off their newborn babies.[3]

Anecdotal evidence points to moral debasement and the rise in the early exposure of young girls to sex as the major reason behind this menace. There is also the greed of some adult Nigerians to get rich quick, hence, they set up their heinous trades disguised as Orphanages, Non-Governmental Organizations, Clinics, etc. but with the cruel intention of contracting poor young girls to get pregnant, deliver the babies.[4] There has been intervention of the government agency, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, with the help of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC and the Nigerian Police Force to curb this issue mostly through raids on some of the locations, freedom to victims and the arrest of culprits.  Recently, the Enugu State Police Command raided a baby factory and arrested nine pregnant girls in the process.

Against this background, NOIPolls Limited conducted a poll to measure the level of awareness and perception of Nigerians regarding the issue of baby factories & child trafficking in Nigeria, as well as their support for legistlation to address the menace.

Survey Findings

Respondents were asked five specific questions. Firstly, to ascertain the level of awareness of baby factories in Nigeria, respondents were asked: Are you aware of the recent cases of baby factory as a new trend of child trafficking in Nigeria?  Findings revealed that majority (78 percent) of respondent showed awareness of the recent cases of baby factory in Nigeria, while 22 percent showed no awareness.

Further analysis by geo-political zones revealed that the South-East zone (85 percent) accounted for the highest proportion of Nigerians who are aware of cases of baby factory in Nigeria.

 

Respondents who showed awareness (78 percent of the total), were further asked: Are you aware of any baby factory in your locality?  The results revealed that a larger proportion of the respondents (94 percent) had no idea of an existing baby factory within their locality, while 6 percent claimed they are aware of a baby factory in their locality. This result is true, given the fact that most people who engage in this illicit trade either do so discretely and in the guise of operating a charity home or clinics and are not portrayed as a facility to harbor pregnant women who are either coerced or tricked to give up their newborns, after delivery, for a reward that might be meager

Analysis based on age group revealed that the largest proportion of respondents who showed awareness of an existing baby factory was within the age range of 61+. This was followed by respondents aged between 18 – 25 years. This level of awareness seen in this age group may be driven by the fact that women with unwanted pregnancies are most likely to be within this age-group.

Again, further analysis based on geo-political zones shows that the South-East region (16 percent) accounted for the largest proportion of respondents who are aware of baby factories in their locality.

Subsequently, respondents showed awareness   of cases of baby factory (78 percent of the total) were asked: Would you be willing to report any case(s) of baby factory in Nigeria?  The outcome revealed that almost all the respondents (96 percent) would be willing to report to the appropriate authorities. This suggests that majority of Nigerians are not in support of this illegal trade.

Furthermore, respondents were asked: In your opinion, what is responsible for the increase of baby factories incidents of child trafficking in Nigeria? Findings revealed that 63 percent of Nigerians indicated poverty as the major reason for the increasing occurrence of baby factories. This is followed by 23 percent who indicated  ‘Get rich quick syndrome’ and 10 percent who indicated  ‘Unemployment’ Also some otherrespondents believe that ‘stigma against teenage pregnancy’ (6 percent) and ‘stigma against pregnancy out of wedlock’ (6 percent) are to blame for the increase of baby factories/incidents of child trafficking in Nigeria among other cited reasons.

Finally, respondents were asked: would you support legislation and laws to eradicate baby factory? Responses to this question revealed that Nigerians (99 percent) would fully support legislation and laws to eradicate baby factory.

In conclusion, the poll revealed that the majority (78 percent) of Nigerians are aware of the rising occurrences of baby factories and child trafficking in Nigeria. More findings revealed that a larger proportion of the respondents (94 percent) were not aware of an existing baby factory within their locality, while 6 percent claimed they were aware of a baby factory in their locality. The South-East region (16 percent) accounted for the largest proportion of respondents who showed awareness of baby factories in their locality. In addition, 63 percent of Nigerians indicated ‘Poverty’ as the major reason for the increasing occurrence of baby factories. This is followed by ‘Get rich quick syndrome’ (23 percent) and ‘Unemployment’ (10 percent). Finally Nigerians (99 percent) would fully support legislation and laws to eradicate baby factory and almost all the respondent (96 percent) indicated that they would be willing to report these cases to the relevant authorities.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in April 2015. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed. With a sample of this size, we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise - within a range of plus or minus 3%. NOIPolls Limited, No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa. We conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com

Disclaimer

This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the general public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited or published.

NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect its views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact or for any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken as a result of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions or views herein constitute a judgment as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking.

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[1] http://www.unicef.org/nigeria/children_1939.html

[2] Nigerian Business Forum Blog site, 26/07/2013 South – East of Baby Selling Factories. http://www.nigerianbestforum.com/blog/south-east-of-baby-selling-factories/ sourced, 19-03-15

[3] Vanguard Newspaper, on September 2nd, 2012, Baby Factories; how pregnancies, deliveries are framed. http://www.nigerianbestforum.com/blog/south-east-of-baby-selling-factories/ sourced, 19-03-15

[4] Online Nigerian News, 22/08/2012 08:56:00, Baby factory discovered in Asaba, Delta State, http://news2.onlinenigeria.com/news/top-stories/190393-baby-factory-discovered-in-asaba- delta-state.html#ixzz2oN3Lq4EP, sourced, 19 -03-15.