From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NATIP), and the Alliances for Africa (AFA), a civil society organisation have decried the rising incidents of human trafficking and baby factory in Imo State. They also urged the state governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma to speedily assent to the Violence Against Per- son Prohibition Bill already passed by the state House of Assembly.
Speaking at a joint press conference on Friday in Owerri, Imo state NATIP commander, Ernest Ogbu said between 2020 and July 2021,
the command handled about 55 cases of human trafficking involving 49 survivors from Imo State, noting that citizens of the state are being trafficked within and outside the state.
He said: “It is sad to note that some of these cases bother on buy- ing and selling of human beings known more as baby factory. In addition, out of about 18 cases report- ed to the NATIP Imo State Command since inception in April 2021, five of the cases are of buying and selling of human beings. Recall that on September 10, 2021, the Imo State Police Command arrested and paraded suspects of a baby factory disguised as a church.
He added: “These cases are in exhaustive and accompanied with forced labour and employment of children as domestic workers, inflicting grievous harm as well as other forms of sexual and gender based violence.” Ogbu further pointed out that the “baby factory” is a neo form of human trafficking and a form of violence against women and girls as it relegates women to tools for baby making in exchange for pittance, degrades children to commodities and a violation of the sexual and reproductive health rights of women.