This year’s Children day should be one of sober reflection.
A coalition of Nigerian and International nongovernmental, children and human rights organizations on Friday called on the government to take decisive steps to curb the growing menace of baby factories in some parts of the country.
In celebration of Children’s Day, the groups, while condemning the rising commercialization of newborns in the country, said this years’ celebration calls for a sober reflection following the clamp-down on a home in Imo State where 22 pregnant teenagers were rescued from selling their babies for between N50, 000 and N350, 000. Similar cases have previously been reported in Abia, Lagos and Abuja.
The coalition includes Africans Unite Against Child Abuse (AFRUCA)-UK, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Media Concern Initiative for Women & Children (MediaCon), Healing Hearts Foundation, Spaces for Change, Project Alert on Violence Against Women, the Charles and Doosurh Abaagu Foundation, and the Women Environmental Programme (WEP)
“This year’s Children’s Day celebration calls for sober reflection because more than ever before, our beloved country is again being made the laughing stock of the whole world.” they said
They added that there is no longer any reason to doubt the ratings of Save the Children, an international NGO which last year identified Nigeria as one of the worst places to be born in 2013.
The groups cited Abia State as the state with the highest trend of illegal selling of babies and called on its governor, Theodore Orji, and governors of other states to take a cue from the prompt action of the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, in shutting down all illegal motherless and adoption homes in the state.
The groups also called on the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, National Agency for the Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP), the police, and other relevant agencies to be more active in checking the menace.