This edition of the weekly update spotlights child trafficking in the Niger Delta with a focus on child labor trafficking and illegal breeding and selling of babies in Cross River State. According to data (see map below), over 150 child trafficking incidents were reported in the Niger Delta between 2015 and 2020. In Cross River State, recent incidents indicate an increase in child labor trafficking and the spread of ‘Baby Factories’ – homes where young women are kept and made to get pregnant to produce babies for sale in black markets. In January, 2021, for instance, operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) reportedly arrested two child traffickers and rescued six children in Calabar, the state capital. The suspects were reportedly arrested while attempting to transport the children to Ogun State for child labor trafficking. Separately, in February, operatives of the Cross River State special security outfit code-named ‘Operation Akpakwu’ reportedly arrested two child traffickers and rescued 24 pregnant women and 11 children at a ‘Baby Factory’ in Anantigha, the headquarters of Calabar South LGA.
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