Nigerian Baby Farm

Posted: November 14, 2011 in GLOA 491
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Back in June 2011, The Guardian posted this article about a “baby farm” in Nigeria where girls between primary school age and 20 years old were forced to give up their newborn babies “to people who may use them for rituals or other purposes,” such as illegal adoption. While the babies were bought for up to $6,400, the girls were paid between $161 and $192 for their sacrifice. Sadly, many of the children are “killed as part of witchcraft rituals because they are thought to make charms more powerful.”

Paola probably already knows this, but I learned from this article that human trafficking is the third most common crime in Nigeria, with about 10 children being sold per day. Trafficking of children for religious purposes is not something I have thought about in my research on the business of human trafficking, but I would be interested in learning more about it. Though my research is related to the business of sex trafficking in particular, trafficking for rituals could fall under this category if sex is part of some of these rituals or if the children are sexually exploited outside of the rituals. The Guardian references a recent UNESCO report on Nigerian human trafficking. One of these days I will take a look and see what I can glean about this topic.

  1. Paola says:

    Thanks for your post Craig, and though I know that trafficking is pretty out of control–one source states that 4 in 5 girls would go abroad despite the risks, and 1 in 5 does–I did not know its ranking, or about the trafficking of children for religious purposes. Although the practice of juju rituals is mentioned in nearly every piece of literature I have found on Nigerian trafficking. It is the primary means of intimidation used on these girls and women; they are terrified of the repercussions/the curse that will fall on them if they do not obey/pay back all debts. In their case it is just as effective as physical abuse. I will have to look into this because nowhere have I read anything about infants being a part of these juju rituals. Especially if it is citing a UNESCO source…

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