Torture in  [Nigeria]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Nigeria]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Nigeria]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Nigeria]  [other countries]

Child Prostitution

The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

In the early years of the 21st Century                                            

Federal Republic of Nigeria

Oil-rich Nigeria, long hobbled by political instability, corruption, inadequate infrastructure, and poor macroeconomic management, has undertaken several reforms over the past decade. Nigeria's former military rulers failed to diversify the economy away from its overdependence on the capital-intensive oil sector, which provides 95% of foreign exchange earnings and about 80% of budgetary revenues.

Based largely on increased oil exports and high global crude prices, GDP rose strongly in 2007 and 2008. President Yar'adua has pledged to continue the economic reforms of his predecessor with emphasis on infrastructure improvements. Infrastructure is the main impediment to growth. The government is working toward developing stronger public-private partnerships for electricity and roads..  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Nigeria

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Nigeria.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of child prostitution are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got started, how they survive, and how some succeed in leaving.  Perhaps your paper could focus on runaways and the abuse that led to their leaving.  Other factors of interest might be poverty, rejection, drug dependence, coercion, violence, addiction, hunger, neglect, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the manipulative and dangerous adults who control this activity.  There is a lot to the subject of Child Prostitution.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Story that touches the heart : Why prostitution rate is rising

Chioma Obinna, Vanguard OnLine, December 31, 2005

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 27 June 2011]

MY FIRST ENCOUNTER - Before my first visit to the brothel, I used to think that prostitution was mainly for older women but it beats my imagination when I stepped into the brothel and saw girls of 12, 13 and 14 years. I can’t imagine myself because at that age, I was still in secondary school and was like a baby to my parents. The only thought that came into mind was that, why should these ones be here? So after my project, I tried to pry into their private life to find out why they are into sex work at such a tender  age, some of them told me some pathetic stories of their lives. And a lot of them gave me stories that I was grieved about.


*** ARCHIVES ***

ECPAT Global Monitoring Report on the status of action against commercial exploitation of children - NIGERIA [PDF]

ECPAT International, 2007

[accessed 27 June 2011]

The Committee on the Rights of the Child has reported that a growing number of children are being forced into prostitution and/or trafficked within or from Nigeria for sexual purposes.1 While there are reports describing a rise in child prostitution, few studies detailing its nature and extent are actually available.


[accessed 27 June 2011]

Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 13 December 2010]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Commercial sexual exploitation of children occurs in many cities in Nigeria. The country is a source, transit, and destination country for trafficked children. Children from Benin and other African countries are trafficked to Nigeria, where some are forced to work as domestic workers, prostitutes, or in other forced labor conditions. Nigerian children are trafficked internally and to West and Central Africa for domestic labor and street hawking, and to Europe for commercial sexual exploitation. Girls are sometimes sold into marriage.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 13 December 2010]

CHILDREN - Cases of child abuse, abandoned infants, child prostitution, and physically harmful child labor practices remained common throughout the country.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 28 January 2005

[accessed 13 December 2010]

[63] The Committee is concerned about the situation of refugee and internally displaced children living in refugee camps, and regrets the paucity of information with regard to these children in the State party report and the State party’s position that the issue of asylum-seeking children do not arise in Nigeria. The Committee is particularly concerned about reports of sexual exploitation of refugee girls and women within and outside of the camps, including female teenagers who are forced into prostitution. The Committee is also concerned that incidence of teenage pregnancy is high in the camp.

[71] The Committee is of the view that implementation of the existing legislation is not effective, and is deeply concerned that the number of children who fall victim to sexual exploitation is on the increase in the State party. The Committee also notes with concern that reports of sexual assaults and rape of young girls are on the increase, especially in the north. The Committee is concerned that children victims of sexual exploitation often do not receive adequate protection and/or recovery assistance, but may even be treated as perpetrators of a crime.

Nigeria: Abia 15 And Endangered Children

Sonnie Ekwowusi, This Day, 5 October 2010

[accessed 27 June 2011]

Among the most disturbing aspects of child labour is child prostitution. Under the guise of being offered a juicy employment abroad, under-aged Nigerian girls are recruited, whisked away abroad and forced into child prostitution by syndicates and paid agents. Such kids forced into such unspeakable lifestyle are threatened not to tell truth to their parents or may feel too ashamed to speak up in front of their parents. A University of Lagos don who has just come back from Bamako, Mali laments that there are many under-aged Nigerian girls presently being detained in a certain poor- stricken camp in Bamako and forced to engage in daily prostitution for a daily wage by their Nigerian slave masters. What can be as degrading as this? Who will rescue this little girls detained in Bamako? Is the National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) equal to the task?

Agency rescues under-age sex slaves from Lagos hotels

Oladapo Shofu, Punch, Jul 11, 2008

[accessed 27 June 2011]

NAPTIP officials, who early Tuesday morning raided the hotel located in the midst of residential houses, rescued six girls within its walls. Items like clothes, photographs and used and unused condoms were found in most of the rooms. The head of the Lagos Zone of NAPTIP, Mr Godwin Morka, told Saturday Punch that six out of twelve girls that were rescued from the hotel in January turned out to be HIV positive. “Most of the girls we rescued are between 11 and 16 years old. Two girls aged 12 and 14 were pregnant. They don’t even know who the fathers of their unborn babies are. “It is really saddening,” he said.

Nigeria: Police Rescues 105 Children From Human Traffickers

Ahmed Mohammed, Daily Trust, 8 February 2008

[partially accessed 27 June 2011 - access restricted]

The 'anti human trafficking piracy special Investigation unit' of the FCT police command has so far rescued 105 teenagers between the ages of five to thirteen years from human traffickers, in different places in Abuja.

He said the children were trafficked from Nassarawa, Lagos, Kano, Kwara and some villages within the FCT to be used as sex slaves and child labourers within the Motor Parks, Markets and restaurants in Abuja, which contravenes section 19 of the 'Trafficking Act in Persons'.

Musa disclosed further that one of the suspects, Amina Adamu actually confessed that she kidnapped the victims to the FCT for prostitution as well as to be used as slaves, for her to get money.

Italian police break up child prostitution network

Radio Netherlands Worldwide, Rome, 15 January 2008

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 27 June 2011]

Italian police have made scores of arrests and rolled up a child prostitution network. Fifty-one people were arrested in Italy and 15 in other countries, mainly the Netherlands. They are accused of human trafficking, exploitation and kidnapping. In Nigeria, Nigerian women took very young children from orphanages to work in the drug trade and as prostitutes. The children are also believed to have been taken from asylum centres in the Netherlands. The police operation began in October 2007 when, at the request of the Dutch government, 22 Nigerians were detained in Nigeria, various European countries and the US.

Nigeria/West Africa: Human trafficking

Adeze Ojukwu, Deputy News Editor, Daily Champion (Lagos) NEWS, Sep 21, 2006

[accessed 24 April 2012]

With increasing incidence of trafficking in children, particularly girls for sex and domestic work, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that the incidence of child labour in Nigeria for persons aged 10 to 14 years is approximately 12 million.

"In the South-West, a greater number of girls and women end up in prostitution, while in the East, the problem affects mainly boys who find themselves trafficking into agricultural, domestic, trading and apprenticeship jobs," the report said.

Also 60 per cent of women trafficking victims for commercial sex in Italy are Nigerians.

Five Years After Stockholm [PDF]

ECPAT: Fifth Report on implementation of the Agenda for Action

ECPAT International, November 2001

[accessed 13 September 2011]

[B] COUNTRY UPDATES – NIGERIA – In Nigeria, commercial sex work is gradually becoming dominated by children. CSEC is on the increase, especially in the Niger Delta region of Port Harcourt, Bonny and Akwa Ebom and big cities like Lagos. The average age of victims is 16. The problem is compounded by Nigeria’s huge population, the bulk of which live below the poverty line.

ECPAT: CSEC in West Africa

ECPAT International Newsletters, Issue No : 34  1/March/2001

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 27 June 2011]

VULNERABLE VULNERABLE CHILDREN - Generally, the profile of victims and perpetrators of CSEC are the same throughout the region. The victims are children from very poor families, street children, refugees and internally displaced children, child hawkers of petty wares, children who are beggars, school dropouts and children of migrants.  PERPETRATORS - The majority of perpetrators are rich local nationals like civil servants, politicians and businessmen. In Nigeria, child prostitution is prevalent in the oil rich regions where young girls are enticed by the large amount of money offered by expatriates and oil workers.

ECPAT: CSEC Overview – Nigeria

ECPAT International

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 27 June 2011]

CSEC is reported to be a serious problem in Nigeria and evidence suggests that the phenomenon is on the increase because of instability, poverty, economic crisis, urbanization, unemployment and the break down in family, social and cultural values. The problem is compounded by Nigeria’s huge population, the bulk of which lives below the poverty line.

NGO Periodic Report for Nigeria [DOC]

ANPPCAN Child Rights Monitoring Center

[accessed 27 June 2011]

Commercial sexual exploitation has become a problem of special concern in Nigeria, both because of its scale and because of its role in the development of the HIV/AIDS epidemic now sweeping the country. Studies of sexual exploitation are scarce, owing to the clandestine nature of the phenomenon and the traditional inhibitions on discussion of sexual behavior. Few studies however, indicate that child prostitution is now common in towns such as Owerri, Port Harcourt, Calabar and Edo in the South East and South geo-political zones, Markurdi and ilorin in the North central zone, Maiduguri in the North East and Lagos in the South West.

Trafficking nightmare for Nigerian children

Ian Pannell, BBC News, 10 January, 2001

[accessed 27 June 2011]

Ian Pannell of the BBC's PM program traveled to Nigeria and Turin to investigate how traffickers use the UK as a staging post for child prostitution.  The BBC has learnt that many of the hundreds of girls from Nigeria sold into sexual slavery in Europe each year have been trafficked through England.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Child Prostitution - Nigeria",, [accessed <date>]



Torture in  [Nigeria]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Nigeria]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Nigeria]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Nigeria]  [other countries]