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Nigeria, the most populous black nation in the world with an estimated population of about 140 million people (2006, Census), is endowed with abundant human and natural resources like oil, tin, limestone, zinc, natural gas, good vegetation and climate which varies from being equatorial in the South, tropical in the centre and arid in the north. This great country, 3rd world largest producer of crude oil has about 5.3% annual growth rate but it is estimated that 70% of Nigerians live in poverty (Tola, 2008). The above features are legacies of decades prolonged military rules coupled with mis-management and corruption, which have daily impoverished the people and made them “beggars” of a sort amdist plenty. This act of misrule has increased anti-social behaviour amongst the populace. Sadly, the quest for material wealth at all cost has introduced a new dimension of wealth creation into the psyche of Nigerians-which is child trafficking. Child trafficking is the third largest criminal activity in the world after arms and drug trafficking (Tola, 2008). In the last decade, the phenomenon of child trafficking has considerably increased throughout the world and most especially in Nigeria.  

Every year, million of individuals, mostly children are misled by decot or forced to submit to servitude. The UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (2000) defined child trafficking as follows: “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, of abuse of power, giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation” “exploitation shall include at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar or slavery, servitude or the removal of organs”.

ANPPCAN (2010) sees child trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of children by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power a position of vulnerability or the giving or receiving of payments, benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over the child for the purpose of exploitation. Research evidence shows that children are trafficked for the purpose of domestic services, prostitution and other forms of exploitative labour (UNICEF, 2007). These has been a serious concern about the cause of child trafficking in African as a whole and Nigeria as a country in particular.

UNICEF (2007) has identified poverty, large family size, rapid urbanization among others as the major factor why many Nigeria children are vulnerable to trafficking. Parent with large family are often prone to those traffickers deceit in giving away some of their children to city residents or even strangers promising a better life for them. Trafficking deprives child victims the privilege to exercise their wide range of rights, including the right to belong and identify, the right to freedom, education among others. ANPPCAN (2010). As a result of this, the study on the causes, effects, and remedies of child trafficking in Nigeria is worth pursing. It is hoped that the findings of this study will provide meaningful information as to the stoppage of the act in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.


Children living in rural areas in Nigeria often lack access to quality education, good health and other basic needs which make their parents to entrust them in the hands of other family members who are financially upright to help them train their children.

It is impossible to ever reach a consensus on the true scale of the problem but, regardless of the figures, what matters is that human trafficking is big and getting bigger. What matters is that every numbers represents a human life destroyed. it is happening on every continent and in almost every country: whether the place we live is a source, destination or transit point for trafficking, none of us can claim to be wholly unaffected by this crime. One of the biggest impediments to anti-trafficking efforts is a lack of understanding of the issue. Trafficking, and consequently, the measures taken to combat it, is often entangled with people smuggling, immigration and asylum, prostitution and other forms of organized crime. It must be emphasized that the essence of trafficking is the forced exploitation of individuals by those in the position to exert power over them.     


            The purpose of the study is:

i).         To look at the origin and development of child trafficking in Nigeria.

ii).         To examine the causes of child trafficking in Nigeria

iii).       To analyse the effects of child trafficking in Nigeria, socially, politically and economically.

iii).       To proffer solutions to the problems of child trafficking in Nigeria.


(i)                 What is the relationship between poverty and child trafficking?

(ii)               Does peer influence positively promote child trafficking?

(iii)             What is the position of legal framework on child trafficking?


            This study will be of great importance, as it will provide necessary information on the causes, effect and remedies to child trafficking in Nigeria. It will also provide further research in combating trafficking in Nigeria. The study will also be useful for further researches into child trafficking within and outside the country. Thus enhancing step to preventing human trafficking and prosecuting the traffickers is therefore to recognize the complexity of the crime which cannot be tackled in a vacuum. Anti-trafficking strategies have to be embedded in every policy area, from improving female education. In source countries so that girls are less vulnerable to trafficking to increasing police pay in destination countries so that officers are less susceptible to bribery.

            We cannot allow ourselves to marginalize the issue of trafficking, viewing it as something that can be ended with a few extra task forces or dedicated units. We need everyone to be aware of how it affects them, and what they can do stop it. Laudable efforts in this direction should be made. No doubt that in 2000, the United Nations Launched the protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, which establish a victim-centred approach to trafficking, which has since been signed by 177 countries including Nigeria.


            The study will be restricted to the causes, effects of child trafficking in Nigeria. Solution to the problems of child trafficking will also be sought in the cause of this research.


            This research focuses on the causes, effects and remedies of child trafficking in Nigeria but due to finance, time and other factors, the study will be limited to Abeokuta Metropolis particularly in Odeda Local Government.


Child: Child in this study means any person less than eighteen years of age.

Trafficking: The recruitment, transfer, harbouring, or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation.

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

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