Nigeria: Country Leads in Child Labour

George Okoh

1 January 2009 / All

Lafia — Nigeria is top on the list of countries involved in the use of child labour in Africa. Also poverty, ignorance and other factors are said to be responsible for child abuse in the country.

A lecturer in the Department of Social Development at the Nasarawa State Polytechnic Lafia, Alhaji Mohammed Osoki, made the revelation while presenting a paper at a one-day sensitisation workshop on child abuse, organised by the orientation Department of the Nasarawa state Ministry of Information in collaboration with UNICEF at Akwanga council area of the state.

He said that lack or failure of mother-child bonding among other things were the causes of child abuse in the country.

He said people who were abused as children were likely to grow up and become abused parents, adding that parents who experienced emotional, cultural, family, social and economic deprivation were likely to abuse their children by resorting to projection, displacement and scapegoating.

Osoki called on parents to avoid abusing their children and other children entrusted in their care, explaining that child abuse inevitably leads to permanent damage and great suffering in children.

Hawking, especially by the female children, which was identified as one of the problems of child abuse according to him, could lead to life threatening illness, death or physical disfigure, citing the examples of the Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF), HIV/AIDS and other related diseases.

Apart from the diseases itself, high drop-out of schools, he pointed out, can be traced to children who hawk for their parents and become exposed to sexual abuse consequently resulting in teenage pregnancy.

Apart from growing up to become parents who abuse children he said child abuse also brings about high risks in children like mental retardation, premature infancy and also breeds social problems such as unemployment, broken homes, drug addiction and other social vices.

Osoki however called for the enactment of laws defining and enforcing appropriate behavioral pattern towards children and also the need to embark on public enlightenment on the nature and consequences of child abuse.

He also emphasised on Government to embark on measures to control political and socio- economic forces that create wealthy financial, economic and social pressures on parents and which engender child abuse and neglect.

A call was also made on both the Federal, State and Local Governments to introduce policies that will alleviate poverty and to guarantee welfare benefits and programmes so that children's needs such as education, shelter, health and food can be met notwithstanding the adverse socio-economic handicaps of parents.



I had to google the term "Hawking" because I never heard that before.  According to various links, I learned "hawking" is street-trading, or as the case may be for some, sex-trading.

An interesting forum-discussion on hawking and child abuse can be found here:  "Child Abuse And Street Hawking In Nigeria.",


By necessity

It's sad to see how much suffering there is in the world and how much poverty contributes to that suffering. Some hundred/two hundred years ago, the situation in Europe and the US was not much different from what is going on in parts of Asia, South America and Africa. The same patterns of exploitation of children took place in our not so distant past. Even though many people at the time were living under poor conditions, there was no richer part of the world. so no children were being adopted by rich foreign countries. Eventually Europe and the US learned by mistake how to improve the welfare of children and even though the most gruesome and cruel practices still take place, I believe children in the western world are in general better off than those in the 19th century.

Third world countries will eventually develop too, I believe, although they face a much tougher climate to do so than the western world had. Children from third world countries are much more a product on a global market than American and European children ever were in the 19th century and before and despite efforts from all sorts of charities (some of which effectively making things worse than they already are), the trade in children only seems to be growing. Child labour, child prostitution, child soldiers, it seems the rate at which children are being exploited is only growing. As the western world we can contribute, but once we play big daddy, we usually bring the big bad wolfe along with us, to the point where what one hand giveth, the other taketh. That's why I think we should play a much more modest role in our want to help third world countries. It shouldn't be about what we think is good, but about what we can do that is asked of us. If we force our help upon them, developing countries will never learn how to do it themselves. The most shameful of all, in my opinion, is South Korea, a country that is not poor, a country that should be capable of dealing with their own issues, yet it is still among the largest child exporting countries in the world. I bet if Henry Holt had not had his divine inspiration back in the 50's, Korea by now would have solved their issues. Necessity would have forced them to do so.

All Holt Families...

Are sung the praises of the Holts from the moment they first inquire.  We were given a free video and book and given a free tour of the shrine that exists in every Holt office from here to Seoul, South Korea.  In Korea, Ilsan, the first orphanage that the Holts built has several shrines; plus all the steps up to the top where the biggest shrine is,  I've read all the books they wrote.  And I fell under their spell, too. 
I sometimes curse that divine inspiration of Harry's and Bertha's that started all this hideous trauma I find myself in...  I DO dearly love my children because I want to; and yet, where would all of us be if the Holt's had stayed in America and finished raising their biological children instead of changing the course of history for so many people?  It was THEIR changing of the law that started all of this.  Grandma Holt died 3 weeks before my own mother died; and neither of them realized how much pain and suffering they had brought to this world. 
I've been to Korea twice and it is a beautiful country, full of wonderful people who have made big mistakes in sending their children away.  I pray they stop.  I pray they will see the error of their ways and make ammends.

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

April 2008 deaths

about 4 kids from Korea killed by their adopted dad in Iowa... I missed this, they were from Holt adoption

I know bad place to post.. just wanted to get the info out

Sueppel family

It was the right place to post this. It's always good to bring attention to these cases. This particular case we have archived here. In short: couple adopt four children from Korea through Holt International Children's Services. Adoptive father embezzeled large sum of money from the bank he worked for, get's caught in February 2008 and right before the hearings he kills his entire family and drives off and fatally crashes his car .

Pound Pup Legacy