African Largest Paper Orphans: An Evaluation of the Unremitting Supply Side of Child Trafficking through Orphanism

Adeleye Lewis Olatunji, MSc & Joseph Osuigwe, BEd | September 20 | 9:00-10:00 AM | Room 2584

Topic: International | Knowledge Level: Intermediate, Advanced

With increased vulnerabilities that put children at risk, more gaps are being overlooked in African orphanages that continuously endanger the lives of innocent African Children. Resulting from a quagmire of socio injustice, lack of social safety nets, and internal displacement of citizens, orphanages have become the last hope of a common child. Especially in an environment with little or no coordinated birth records, these orphanages are turning to myriads of unscrupulous means to source for children for illicit financial gains. Many of the ‘orphans’ are paper orphans, who were removed from their biological parents using duplicitous misrepresentations, sourced through kidnapping by criminal organizations or harvested at birth through what is popularly known in Nigeria as “Baby Factory”. Research has shown that Nigeria is one of the top three countries globally with the most orphans, and most of the children placed in orphanages are not orphans, they are procured for illicit purposes of profit making. A 2012 research study also postulates that there are about 11.5 million orphans in Nigeria, however this is difficult to substantiate because of a lack of dependable statistics. Amid a growing culture of orphanage tourism amongst more affluent individuals visiting orphanages with tons of gifts items and financial supports to demonstrate philanthropism, criminal elements are leveraging on empathy for the needs of children, to expand the numbers of children in the orphanages. This presentation seeks to therefore discuss the incipient issues in Nigerian orphanages with regards to the increasing demands for ‘orphans’.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Describe the emerging issues in Nigerian orphanages with regards to demand and sourcing.

·  Identify the disconnections that aids the vulnerabilities of high risk children in orphanages.

·  Identify the roles of different stakeholders in the illicit demand for paper orphans.

·  Discuss and elicit some practical recommendations.

About the Presenters