BY AKOMA CHINWEOKE
The first vice chairman of Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Lagos branch, says it is dangerous to neglect the country’s women and children who are increasing becoming victims of human trafficking, socio- cultural exploitation, modern slavery, child labour and forced prostitution
Duru, who spoke in Lagos ahead of an international law conference on women and children scheduled to hold between July 14-15 at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos, however, said remarkable progress could be recorded in tackling these ills befalling women and children within the sub-region through advocacy and sensitization programmes targeted at rural communities where majority of the people live.
He explained that the conference with the theme: Challenges in Upholding the Rights of Women and Children, would attract key professionals across the world who would work out specific short and long term strategies for tackling the menace in line with workable international legal framework and policy directive.
Duru noted that the menace of child trafficking in Africa has become prominent in the last two decades because of the severe economic challenges faced by the continent. “Everywhere in the world, especially in Africa, women and children are the victims of the most telling socio-cultural exploitation, abuse, neglect, preventable diseases and social conflict. About 1 million out of 5.9 million babies born in Nigeria every year die before the age of 5”, he stated.
“There is also the problem of poor parenting. Many parents in urban and rural cities are shrinking their parental responsibilities. Consistently, Nigerian children are increasingly becoming victims of aggressive child labour, child trafficking, infanticide, modern child slavery, and prostitution. Uncountable number of Nigerian under-aged girls are secretly smuggled out of Nigeria to different slave camps where they are subjected to forced prostitution for daily wage or used for cheap labour.”