Thursday, May 1, 2014

Denmark bans adopting babies from Nigeria

Denmark has suspended adoptions from Nigeria less than a month after Lagos police arrested eight people at a suspected baby factory.

"I have decided to suspend all adoption from Nigeria with immediate effect," Denmark's minister for children tweeted. "We must do everything we can to protect the children and to give the families peace of mind," he said in a separate statement.

The minister, Manu Sareen, said he had taken the decision after the Danish regulator, the National Social Appeals Board, said it was "no longer justifiable to adopt children from the country".

The board said it was difficult to ensure a lawful and ethical adoption process from Nigeria, but added that couples who had been matched with a child would not be affected by the ban. Further information was required from the organisation that helps Danish couples adopt from Nigeria, AC International Child Support, before making a permanent decision, it added.

In March, Nigerian police arrested several people, including eight pregnant women, during a raid on a house in Lagos. The women planned to sell their newborns for $2,000 (£1,200) each, reports suggest.

There have been several raids on supposed Nigerian baby factories since 2011, with more than 100 women discovered during such operations. Investigations by Nigeria's anti-trafficking agency that year revealed that babies were being sold for up to $6,400 each.

Buyers tend to be couples who are unable to conceive, and boys typically fetch a much higher price than girls.

According to the EU, Nigeria is one of the biggest sources of people trafficked into Europe, where victims are often forced into prostitution.

Human trafficking is widespread in west Africa, where children are sometimes bought to work on plantations and in mines and factories, or as domestic help. Others are sold into sexual slavery or, less commonly, sacrificed in magic rituals.

The Guardian

Related stories: Video - Baby trafficking syndicate arrested in Imo state

Another baby factory busted in Nigeria

16 pregnant women freed from baby factory in Nigeria

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