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A story posted this week from correspondents in Enugu, Nigeria working with the Agence France-Presse, reveals that raids by the police have found an apparent network of baby “farms” in Nigeria. http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24650838-23109,00.html Twenty teenage girls were rescued earlier this year from a hospital in Enugu. The doctor in charge of the hospital in question, who is now on trial, apparently attracted teenagers with unwanted pregnancies by offering help with obtaining abortions. http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hV8-4is3SL23y15hYH7nn_v0...
The young women would then be locked up at the hospital until they gave birth, sometimes being raped on multiple occasions while at the hospital. After giving birth they would be forced to sell their infant for a “fee” of around $170. The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (“NAPTIP”) estimates that these babies are then turned around and sold to a buyer for up to $3800.
Anti-trafficking advocates such as NAPTIP state that the breeding of babies for profit is widespread and is run by well-organized criminal syndicates. The revelation of the network of baby farms in Nigeria is apparently not an isolated occurrence. An investigative piece by Natalie Clarke in the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail revealed the existence of a baby factory in Athens, Greece run by the Russian and Albanian mafias. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-424450/The-shockin... In the Greek baby factory, an order for a baby is placed – likely from wealthy Western families unable to have a child of their own - and a woman is then picked, impregnated by a mafia member and then cared for in secrecy for the next nine months. Once the woman bearing the child has served her purpose, she is often then forced into prostitution.
Another category of young women in Nigeria, because of their extreme poverty essentially rent out their wombs by trying to get pregnant to produce babies for sale as often as is biologically possible. When police affiliated with Nigeria’s Security and Civil Defence Service (“NSCDS”) raided the hospital in Enugu, they found four women who had been staying at the clinic for up to three years to breed babies. http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24650838-23109,00.html Despite the fact that the buying or selling of babies in Nigeria is a crime that carries a 14 year jail sentence, the United Nations Children’s Fund (“UNICEF”) estimates that that at least ten children are sold each day in Nigeria. Human trafficking is ranked as the third most common crime in Nigeria, with children being purchased for child labor and prostitution.
There needs to be a heightened sense of urgency in the international community to end all human trafficking, but especially the sale of infants and children, the most vulnerable to exploitation. The present practice of forcing and otherwise using women as property for the purpose of breeding babies for profit is a serious human rights abuse which needs to be urgently addressed to reduce the human suffering and exploitation caused by these baby factories.