Jump to content

Migration and Children’s Rights in Africa and the Diaspora

Event Picture for Migration and Children’s Rights…

MY LIFE HAS A PRICE

Institute of African Studies and Amalion Publishing

Panel Discussion on Migration and Children's Rights in Africa and the Diaspora

Draper Hall, Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

20 Nov 2012

Time 11.00–14.00

Chair: Professor Isaac Olawale Albert, Director, Institute of African Studies, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Discussants:

Dr Willy Eselebor, Institute of African Studies, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Dr Sola Olorunyomi, Institute of African Studies, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Mrs Bosede Iro-Nsi, Executive Director, Women's Rights and Health Project, Lagos, Nigeria.

MS Tina Okpara, author of My Life Has a Price (Amalion Publishing: 2012).

Attendance is free.

Tina Okpara’s memoir, MY LIFE HAS A PRICE, takes us on her journey to hell; from a loving yet poor childhood in Nigeria to the ordeal of modern day slavery in wealthy, suburban Paris. She was only 13 when celebrity footballer, Godwin Okpara and his wife Linda, lured her father into giving her up for a supposedly better life in Europe. In 2001, Simon Omaku agreed to his eldest daughter being legally adopted so that she could live with her friend, a daughter of the Okparas, as her sister. In exchange, the Okparas gave him money to buy a motorcycle, N30,000, unknowingly selling his daughter into a life of slavery.

Cases of modern slavery are increasingly being reported all over the world. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates the number of children between the ages of five and fourteen who are currently slaves in the world at more than 250 million in both the developed and developing world. Millions of children slave away in inhuman conditions, making gadgets, toys, working in mines or as domestic servants, suffering and at times dying under the blows of their “owners” or “benefactors”. In recent decade, migrant communities whether local or global are increasingly confronted with reports of degrading cases of child and domestic worker abuse. Some children and young women and men are trapped in violent prostitution and drug rings, with no end in sight except death.

All over Africa, Asia, or Europe and elsewhere, migrants are bringing relatives, friends and acquaintances to help them cope in demanding socio-economic and urban environments. In some cases, this communal support mechanism has led to children from less privileged families to get an education, learn a trade, and have a future. In some instances, this adoption has led to untold suffering, handicap and death. Some have been left after years of toil without any education and training to move on with their lives when the children of benefactors are grown and they are no longer needed.

What are the issues to be dealt with here and what can be done to stem the tide? What resources are available either at the level of home communities or at the level of new abodes that can prevent such cases happening or degenerating to abuse. What is currently being done at the level of the country to stop child trafficking and labour? Which agencies and organisations to get on board? These are some of the questions to be discussed by the discussants and audience at the event.

Attendance free.

For more information, see www.amalion.net

Last edited: 23 11 2012