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New Law Prohibits The Use Of Children Below 12 Years As House Helps

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President Goodluck Jonathan has signed a new Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act 2015 which prohibits the use of children below the age of 12 years old as domestic house nannies.
This was a lieu with the with government policy of compulsory education for children in the age bracket.

A breach in the new law attracts a jail term between two to ten years to the offenders.

This was made known through the Director-General of the National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Person, NAPTIP, Mrs. Beatrice Jedy-Agba, on Thursday, April 9, 2015.
According to Jedy-Agba, the new law imposes stiffer penalties on human trafficking offenders, adding that the abuse and exploitation of children under 12 years old who are being used as domestic help are aggravating circumstances that attract higher jail terms.
She said, “What we have done is to introduce a minimum sentence status. For instance, if you engage a child of below 12 years, there is compulsory imprisonment of not less than two years. There is no option of fine. The fine is in addition to imprisonment.
“The judge, of course, also have the discretion to impose five or 10 years, depending on the circumstances and severe abuse.”
She further explained that the new Act changes the title of the head of NAPTIP from Executive Secretary to Director-General in addition with a change in the appointment and tenure of the Director-General.
She said the preliminary investigation of the inter-ministerial committee set up by the Federal Government to probe the alleged child trafficking in the camps of the Internally Displaced Persons in the North-East showed no cases of human trafficking even though there could be “legitimate concern” of sexual abuses.
She said, “Preliminary investigation indicates that while there are legitimate cause for concern there were no established case of child trafficking.
“There were some allegations of sexual abuse on the part of overzealous security personnel. These were the people that were supposed to be their primary protectors so they are not willing to report.”
Jedy-Agba said theold Act was repealed after the re-enactment of the new law on March 26, 2015.

She said the old NAPTIP law was repealed because it was found to be inadequate to nip the crime of human trafficking in the bud

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