ECPAT International, a global network of organisations dedicated to ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children, published a country monitoring report today, outlining the status of action against the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in Nigeria.
The report is one of a series of reports examining countries around the world and their policies and laws to protect against CSEC. ECPAT’s Nigeria monitoring report looks at all of the manifestations of CSEC within the country, including child prostitution, child sexual abuse materials (child pornography) and the trafficking of children for sexual purposes.
Nigeria has signed and ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. It has also ratified the ILO Convention on Worst Forms of Child Labour and the UN Trafficking Protocol. In 2008, Nigeria reaffirmed its commitment to combat the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents at the World Congress III against the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents, held in Brazil.
Addressing Nigeria’s pressing poverty problem and low birth registration rates is a central concern for the reduction of CSEC within the country. Other concerns include reducing the social stigma surrounding child sexual abuse and addressing the prevalence of orphaned and vulnerable children. The country has made significant strides in combating CSEC, much of which has centred on ending the trafficking of children for sexual purposes. However, the report recommends that the government focus on implementing comprehensive programmes and initiatives targeted at eliminating all manifestations of CSEC.
ECPAT affiliate organisation in Nigeria, WOCON, focuses on combating the trafficking of women and children, particularly through advocacy, research and direct action programmes on child trafficking. "WOCON strongly urges the Government of Nigeria to act on the recommendations in this report,” said Bisi Olateru-Olagbegi, Executive Director of WOCON. More importantly, WOCON asks the government to “abolish all customary practices that support the sale of children in marriage and provide a uniform marriage age of 18 to better protect Nigerian children from commercial sexual exploitation."
The full report on the status of action against commercial sexual exploitation of children in Niferia is available at http://www.ecpat.net/sites/default/files/A4A2011_AF_NIGERIA_FINAL.pdf
Read the official release here in English.