Reps task NAPTIP, security agencies to end baby factory menace
Ask states to domesticate of Child’s Right Act
The House of Representatives on Tuesday called on the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to synergize with other law enforcement agencies in order to forestall the activities of baby factories through effective intelligence gathering and dissemination of information.
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Ossy Prestige, who expressed grave concern on the United Nations report released in 2016 on the existence of baby factories in the country and that this nefarious practice has continued unabated to an alarming proportion in different parts of the country, especially in the southern part, with babies being sold as ordinary wares.
In the bid to end the menace, the House further urged various State Governments to initiate the process of domesticating the Child’s Rights Act to ensure adequate protection of children.
In the same vein, the House urged Federal Ministry of Health to ensure that all maternity homes and orphanages are duly registered and issued licences to operate within their scope.
While calling for the House intervention, Hon. Prestige explained that the term ‘baby factories’ also referred to as ‘baby farms or baby harvesting’, is a new form of human trafficking with the factories located in secret places where young girls and ladies are lured into and encouraged or coerced to get pregnant and deliver babies for sale with or without their consent.
“The House recalls that the 2011 Report of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) stated that human trafficking is the third most common heinous crime ravaging Nigeria after financial fraud and drug trafficking and like most other organized crimes, baby factories operate as a powerful cartel involving prominent people backing the nefarious trade.
“The House is aware that baby factories operate under the guise of orphanage homes, prayer homes, social welfare homes or maternity homes and clinics, thereby luring unsuspecting teenage girls and ladies with all sorts of bait; and those victims find the hostels as safe havens for secretly dropping their unwanted babies for a token without the glare of the public and thereafter continue with their normal lives as though nothing happened.
“The House is also aware that extremely poor and vulnerable teen girls and ladies see such homes as veritable opportunities for redressing their economic misfortunes by selling their babies for peanuts and according to a Report by the United Nations, at least ten (10) babies are illegally sold every day in Nigeria, a development that is worrisome and poses a great threat to national security, especially with the global rise in human organs trafficking.
“The House is desirous of putting an end to the operations of those baby factories in order to save those helpless teen girls and ladies from the risks involved in their indulgences,” the lawmaker warned.
While urging the authorities of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to closely monitor orphanages and maternity homes to prevent them from being used for nefarious activities, the House mandated the joint Committees on Human Rights and Healthcare Services to ensure implementation.