Friday, May 9, 2014

Bring Back Our Girls

Fox News reports on the recent ongoing atrocity:
The hundreds of Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram could face a life of misery, as slaves or child brides sold for a pittance in the markets across the globe if they are not rescued soon, humanitarian experts say.

While boys abducted in Nigeria and other war-torn African countries face the misery of a life where they are forced to become beggars, miners or child soldiers, girls like the nearly 300 mainly Christian teens abducted by the Boko Haram last month are more likely to be dispersed throughout the continent, Russia, the Middle East and even Europe, sold for a few dollars and forced to become prostitutes. Some escape, and make it back to their villages, while others are forced into the sex trade and exposed to brutality and disease.

"We can safely assume that the abducted girls have been raped by their captors, if not worse," Rona Peligal, deputy director for the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch, told "If they return home, they could be traumatized and stigmatized if they are known to be raped, pregnant or with child from their abductors. What happens if they’re trafficked would likely pale by comparison." (Read more.)
Sadly, the enslavement of women and children has become part of the global economy. To quote:
Child trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receiving of children for the purpose of exploitation. Commercial sexual exploitation of children can take many forms, including forcing a child into prostitution, other forms of sexual activity, or child pornography. Child exploitation can also include forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude, the removal of organs, illicit international adoption, trafficking for early marriage, recruitment as child soldiers, for use in begging among many others.

A study carried out by a coalition of some 20 civil society organizations has expose Cameroon , as a safe haven for child trafficking. Financed by the German eed, Mensen met een Missie, Cordaid, Kerk in Actie, Echange et Mission, the study which was presented to the public during an occasion in the nations capital of Yaounde, confirmed that over 4000 children between the ages of 9-13 years are victims of child trafficking for sexual gains.

Child trafficking is known to be one of the most distressing societal ills and human rights abuses in Cameroon . The study which constitutes part of a lobby campaign against child trafficking for sexual ends as well as torture imposed on women, particularly widows brings to glare the extent to which abject poverty can push parents to blight the lives of their children. The children most of whom have never seen the four walls of a classroom, are taken from the villages to big cities of Douala - the economic capital, Yaounde - the nation's capital, Limbe - in the coast, Kumba, Baffoussam, etc... As young as they are the kids serve in bars and restaurants owned by their mistresses who as well use them as sex bags for men and pay them very paltry sums - sometimes FCFA 5,000 ($2.50) per day irrespective of the number of sex encounters. Others work in large cocoa/coffee plantations. It is a well organized practice and function in networks.

According to international legislation, in the case of children, the use of force or other forms of coercion, such as abduction, fraud, deception, the abuse of power, or a position of vulnerability does not need to be present in order for the crime to be considered trafficking.The UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children also defines child trafficking as trafficking in human beings.

Though the study tries to bring the same situation in neighboring countries including; Chad, Nigeria, Gabon, Central African Republic, and Niger, Cameroon is noted for being the host to these gruesome activities based on her geographical position. Also, Children from other neighboring countries are ferried through Cameroon (a country noted for corruption and human rights violation) to different countries around the world particularly those in Europe; Belguim, France and Switzerland. (Read more.)

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