Report: Orphaned children face being sold off in Nigeria

Children are reportedly being sold off in Nigeria, for prices as low as $500 for two. (File photo: AFP)

Children are reportedly being sold off in Nigeria, for prices as low as $500 for two, according to an investigative report by CNN’s Nima Elbagir and her team.

The team - Elbagir, producer Lillian Leposo and cameraman Fabien Muhire – got in touch with a man running an "unofficial" displaced camp for those fleeing Boko Haram militants.

The CNN team feigned interest in “fostering” a child and were met with an eager-to-sell man in charge of orphaned children.

“I called. The man picked up and began referring to me as ‘sister.’ I told him we wanted to know what we'd need to do, if we decided we did want to ‘foster’ the children,” Elbagir wrote.

“He told me, ‘Sister, Jesus will reward me,’ so the ‘fostering"’ was free, he said. No need for any pesky paperwork -- just a reassurance from me that the children, if I chose to take them, would ‘live in my heart.’ If I could also then find it ‘in my heart’ to donate to those still in the camp, then that would be ‘God's work.’”

According to government records, eight million children are currently being forced into labor.

The Global Slavery Index notes that Nigeria has the highest number of people in modern slavery of any sub-Saharan country, CNN reported.

Elbagir goes on to narrate her attempts to foster a child, after the man had suggested taking two girls – a younger one and another to cook and clean.

“Our last phone conversation revolved around what an appropriate ‘donation’ would be in exchange for the children. He couldn't, he said, bargain for it. He then proceeded to do just that, laughing down the phone at my first tentative guess of $200. Laughing again at $300.

“We finally found a figure he didn't find funny - $500.”

The team then reported their findings to a locally-based anti-trafficking group.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45
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