Baby factories also known as baby farms or baby harvesting, is a new form of human trafficking with the factories located in secret places where young girls and ladies are lured into and encouraged or coerced to get pregnant and deliver babies for sale.

Like most other organised crimes, these baby factories operate as a powerful cartel with some prominent people backing the nefarious trade.

They operate under the guise of orphanage homes, prayer homes, social welfare homes or maternity homes and clinics, thereby luring unsuspecting teenage girls and ladies with all sorts of bait and those who look at the hostels as safe havens for secretly dropping their unwanted babies for a token.

According to a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO report, human trafficking is the third most common heinous crime ravaging Nigeria after financial fraud and drug trafficking.

Also, in a report by the United Nations, at least ten babies are illegally sold every day in Nigeria, a development that is worrisome and poses a great threat to national security, especially with the global rise in human organs trafficking.

Baby making factories has become a public issue and menace which has been on for some time as teenage girls become victims of unwanted pregnancies and the children produced are sold out for adoption to couples who want babies at all cost.

At the factory, young girls are encouraged or are forced to become pregnant and after delivery, the newborn babies are sold out, usually for five hundred thousand naira or more, depending on the sex of the child.

No doubt this cruelty has negative effect on the victim while some do this for money.

Early this month, police operatives in Ogun State carried out an operation at a baby factory in the Mowe area of the state.

According to the Ogun State Police Spokesman, Mr Abimbola Oyeyemi, the security men stormed the illegal maternity home and rescued ten people, including four kids and six women, four of whom are pregnant.

To this end, tackling baby factories will involve a multifaceted approach that includes advocacy and enacting of legislation barring baby factories and infant trafficking as well as harsh consequences for their patrons.

Early this year, the House of Representatives called on the federal government to forestall the activities of baby factories through effective intelligence gathering.

It is gratifying that the menace is receiving the attention of concerned authorities but more still needed to be done.

There is the need for the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, to closely monitor orphanages and maternity homes to prevent them from being used for nefarious activities.

It is pertinent that state governments should domesticate the child’s rights act to ensure adequate protection of children.

Also government at all levels must organize programs to educate young girls on preventing unwanted pregnancies, furthermore administrative and legal bottlenecks associated with adoption and surrogacy must be reduced for couples with fertility problems to diminish the importance of baby making factories.

Olubunmi Agboola


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