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Group Alleges Upsurge in Baby Sales in Nigeria, Faults Adoption Process

Muyiwa Bamidele, Abuja

The National Agency for the Prohibition in Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) has lamented the weak anti-trafficking laws in Nigeria and vowed to tackle the upsurge in the sale of newborn babies in the country.

The Executive Secretary of the agency Beatrice Jedy-Agba who raised the alarm during an interactive session with Journalists in Abuja called on the government to strengthen relevant laws with the aim of providing stiffer penalties for traffickers.

Jedy-Agba noted also that perpetrators of child trafficking are abusing adoption process, as they use unsuspecting victims for forced labour and prostitution even as she called on state governments to domesticate and implement the Child’s Rights Act.

The NAPTIP boss also urged the state ministries of women affairs and other related agencies to closely monitor the adoption processes and organizations authorized to work on child related matters.

On what is being done to tackle the situation, Jedy-Agba told African Examiner that “this year, NAPTIP hopes to increase engagement with representatives of destination countries, law enforcement organizations within and outside the country to forge close ties that will yield better cooperation and sustainable response to this fight.”

According to her, the agency in 2013 proposed an amendment to the NAPTIP enabling Act to the National Assembly with a view to blocking some lapses, noting that the amendment, if passed, would bring the nation’s anti-trafficking legislation in conformity with global protocols, including clearer definition of the offences, removing options of fine and increasing penalty for offenders.

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