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This study examines the Causes and Effects of Child Trafficking, in Nigeria. In the process of this study 140 respondents were given the questionnaire and 20 children were interviewed. Among the findings of this study shows that child Trafficking does not increase the standard of living and over population in families, is one of the factors that influences child trafficking. In the light of these findings the following recommendations were made, a restricting of the various economic policies and involvement of the populace in its planning, grassroots oriented educational packages, the need to intensify campaigns on the need to have small families.




Child Trafficking is a complex political and socio-economic issue particularly when it is considered from an African perspective. It is such complex issue that even the governments have not been able to take a decisive action on it. Who is a child? According to the International Conventions a child is defined as anybody below 18 years. Oxford advance Learners 1 defines a child as “a young human being who is not yet an adult. On the other hand, Trafficking is about taking children out of their protective environment and preying on their vulnerability for the purpose of exploitation (ILO, 2000). Though statistics regarding the magnitude of child trafficking are difficult to obtain, International Labour Organization (ILO) Estimates that 1.2 million children are trafficked each year (ILO, 2000).

The trafficking of children has been internationally recognized as a major human right violation, one that exists in every region of the world. When children have to work long hours in the fields, as trade hawkers, bonded child labour, military use of children as well as child prostitution. Their ability to attend school or skills training is limited preventing them from gaining education that could help lift them out of poverty in the future (International Labour Organization, 2007).

In 2004, there were 218 million children working illegally in the eyes of international treaties, Child trafficking is also defined as all economic activity for children under 12 years, any work for those age 12-18 of sufficient hours per week to undermine their health or education all hazardous work which could threaten the health of children under 18. Almost all children trafficking occur in developing countries largely in agriculture, domestic service, factory production and backstreet workshops. Despite a fall of over 10 percent in the figure since the last assessment in 2000, over 25 percent of children in the sub-Sahara Africa and 18 percent in Asia remain trapped within the cycle of poverty of which child labour is part (ILO, 2000).

According to United Nations international children education fund (UNICEF), there is an estimated 218 million children aged 5 to 17 in child labour worldwide, excluding child domestic labour. The most controversial forms of work include the military use of children as well as child prostitution. Less controversial and often legal with some restrictions, are works as child actors and singers as well as agricultural work outside. Child Trafficking is a widespread phenomenon in almost all developing countries, an aspect of growing significance in Africa. According to [LO, there are 80 million working children in Africa and Africa records very high rates of participation in labour force (ILO 1996). The phenomenon in Africa is closely related to a spectrum of economic as well as socio-cultural issues. The issue, as a social and economic problem in Africa, is a new one. This can be explained by the fact that the traditional use of children’s labour in family, business and agriculture has always been customary and not considered to be problematic (Seminar Paper, 1979).

Child Trafficking is a big problem in this world, millions of children are put to work in dangerous locations and put in unhealthy conditions. Out of all the places in the world, 28% of child trafficking occurs in Africa. Children from ages 5-14 are involved in working. Most child Traffickers in Africa are working in agriculture, in Nigeria in the cocoa fields and other areas in the farm lands. The human rights watch as interviewed boy and girl trafficked children from Nigeria about what they do. (

The present economic situations of most Africa countries have to a large extent resulted in widespread poverty in many Africa homes. These aggravating conditions have compelled. Children are to work for their daily , bread. Poverty is the major cause of child trafficking in Africa. A report by UNICEF about children and work indicated that “A growing number of children living on the streets of African capitals are suffering social dislocation, homelessness, exploitation and abuse in all forms”. At least 100 million children worldwide live at least part of their time on streets and work in the urban informal sector (Quame, 2007).

The major causes of child trafficking in Nigeria are as follows; broken homes, unemployed parents, poverty, and death of parents among others. Homes are normally said to be broken when married couples divorce. Children who are victims of broken homes are sometime compelled to find jobs to cater for themselves since their parent cannot do so particularly the mother. Sonic Children are also forced to work by unemployed parents- An attempt by the parents to feed the family. Some children also work through no fault of their parents but peer pressure. Common business fields like selling of wares (retailing), shoes repairing and domestic services are the major employers of child trafficking.

The Agricultural sector are not left out as they also employ children as Tillers, Irrigator, Planters, Harvesters and drivers with little or no experience to work the farm lands. The young mates are normally paid lower than the adult mates. They are sometimes not paid when the transport market is low. This is very common particularly in Surulere local government of Oyo State.

The alarming proportion at which child Trafficking is rising in recent tunes has called for actions of the international cooperation to combat child trafficking, and achievement of the goal of elimination of the worst forms of child labour – including child trafficking – by 2016.The UN children’s fund (Unicef) stipulates that children should have access to at least maximum levels of education, nutrition and healthcare over a long term; before they are employed. This is to achieve the progressive elimination of child trafficking.

Also in 1990, the International Labour Organization (ILO) launched a major global offensive by establishing the International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (IPECL). The programme offers technical advisory services to children who have suffered the worst abuses like child trafficking and forced labour. UNICEF has come up with assistance to children covering child trafficking; in the form of organization of special projects. These programs help provide education, counseling, care and above all relocating these children (Quame, 2007).


Child Trafficking today represents the largest single cause of child abuse across the globe. Most of it takes place in economically less developed countries, and much is hidden. In a minority of instances the effects of child Trafficking may be neutral or even positive, such as helping out in a family run shop, during school holidays. In recent times studies have shown that One hundred and ninety -one countries have recognized the right of the child to be protected from economics exploitation and from performing work likely to be intolerable and hazardous which send to interfere with their education, also affect their Physical, Mental and social Development (Article 32 of The Children differ biologically from Adults as they are at different states of growth and development. For instance, UNICEF, 1991 estimate that there were 80 million children aged 10-14 who took work as they were trafficked which will no doubt interfere with their normal development.


1.     To identify the causes and effect of child trafficking in Surulere local government area of Oyo state.

2.     To examine the relationship between child trafficking and poverty

3.     To Examine the condition -under which trafficked children work in the agricultural sector

4.     To provide indices that will help the government in -stemming of the growth of child trafficking in Nigeria


The under listed are some relevant question that will guild the data and information that will be collected in this study.

1.     What are the effects of child trafficking on the society?

2.     Is the social economic status of the family the major reason why people engage their wards in child trafficking?

3.     Are there laws to protect the child from child trafficking?

4.     How can government help to eradicate child trafficking from our society?

5.     Does child trafficking increase standard of living for family?

6.     Does educational attainment of parents play any role in child trafficking?

7.     How can this study add to existing knowledge?


Hypothesis is a tentative statement that has not been tested. In line with the following objective, the following hypothesis will be tested.


H1:      Child trafficking increases the standard of living of family

Ho:      Child Trafficking does not increase the standard of living of family


H1:      Child trafficking is more predominant amongst unplanned family groups

Ho:    Child trafficking is not predominant amongst unplanned family groups.


H1:    There is a significant relationship between the        educational attainment of parents and child trafficking

Ho:    There is no significant relationship between the educational attainment of parents and child trafficking


Child traffickers are all over Nigeria majorly in the cities, and this type of study is expected to be comprehensive so as to cover many cities. However, due to inadequate finance and time constraints it will not be impossible to cover all major cities. Considering this limitations, only Surulere Local Government Area of Oyo State will be covered.


The following concepts will be relevant to this study and they are define as thus.

ABUSE: To. ill-treat, injure, use badly

CHILD: A young human being who is not yet an adult and who is age 18 and under.

TRAFFICKING: Trade in humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, Forced labour.

CONVENTION: An agreement or covenant between parties or nations. A conference, a body of’ delegates assembled for a common purpose.

DEPRIVE: To take something away or to withhold something.

EXPLOIT: To take unfair advantage of someone for financial gains.

BINDER: To impede, slow down or hold up

HAZARD: To place (something or someone) in a dangerous or risky Situation.

DICES: Numerical ratio deduces from observations and use as an Indicator of a process or condition.

LARGE FAMILY SIZE: A family of about five or more. Sometimes referred to as unplanned family size.

LABOUR: Prolonged hard work

NORMS: A principle of correction that is binding the members of a group.

VERTY: The condition or quality of being poor.

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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