Mothers renting out children for alms begging in FCT: NAPTIP

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) says it has discovered a new form of human trafficking in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), where children are used to beg for alms.

In a statement issued on Wednesday by Vincent Adekoye, a spokesperson for the agency, NAPTIP director-general, Fatima Waziri-Azi, said some human trafficking gangs now specialise in trafficking children and hiring them out for exploitative purposes, including begging for alms.

Ms Waziri-Azi revealed that during a routine undercover operation by operatives of the Rapid Response Unit of the agency around the Abuja – Nyanya corridors, the operatives intercepted syndicates.

She said the operatives promptly rescued three children allegedly rented out by their mothers to the traffickers to beg for alms at one of the busy spots in the Nyanya area for N3,000 a day per child.

“They hire out these innocent children and position them at the roadsides at busy intersections and bus stops, where they use them for alms begging.

“Their modus operandi is such that they will detail another older child to watch over the children as they move them from one point to another and also to ensure that the proceeds of the begging are collected at intervals,” she explained.

She lamented that this exposes children to a dirty environment and harsh weather conditions.

“This ugly development is one of the highest forms of cruelty as these children, whose ages range between 7-9 years, are made to face life-threatening situations on a daily basis,” she stressed.

The NAPTIP boss said that the agency had commenced a manhunt for members of this criminal syndicate already implicated in this act.

She warned that all those involved, including parents giving out their children for unclear purposes, would be fished out and prosecuted.

According to her, the agency has also commenced discussions with the relevant government organisations to increase vigilance within the identified black spots for street begging around the FCT.