THE EFFECT OF STREET HAWKING AMONG TEENAGE GIRLS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Nigeria, the most populous black nation in the world with an estimated population of about 140 million people (2006, Census), is endowed with abundant human and natural resources like oil, tin, limestone, zinc, natural gas, good vegetation and climate which varies from being equatorial in the South, tropical in the centre and arid in the north. This great country, 3rd world largest producer of crude oil has about 5.3% annual growth rate but it is estimated that 70% of Nigerians live in poverty (Tola, 2008).
The above features are legacies of decades of prolonged military rules coupled with mis-management and corruption, which have daily impoverished the people and made them “beggers” of a sort amidst plenty. This act of misrule has increased anti-social behaviour amongst the populace. Sadly, the quest for material wealth at all cost has introduced a new dimension of wealth creation into the psyche of Nigerians-which is street hawking.
Street hawking is the third largest criminal activity in the world after arms and drug trafficking (Tola, 2008). In the last decade, the phenomenon of street hawking has considerably increased throughout the world and most especially in Nigeria. Every year, million of individuals, mostly female are misled by decot or forced to submit to servitude.
The UN convention Against Transnational orgainsed crime (2000) defined street hawking as follows; “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, of abuse of power, giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation” “exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs”
ANPPCAN (2010) sees street hawking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, habouring or receipt of female by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power, a position of vulnerability or the giving or receiving of payments, benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over the child for the pupose of exploitation.
Research evidence shows that female are trafficked for the purpose of domestic services, prostitution and other forms of exploitative labour (UNICEF, 2007). These has been a serious concern about the cause of street hawking in Africa as a whole and Nigeria as a country in particular.
UNICEF (2007) has identified poverty, large family size, rapid urbanization among others as the major factor why many Nigeria female are vulnerable to trafficking. Parents with large family are often prone to those traffickers deceit in giving away some of their female to city residents or even strangers promising a better life for them. Trafficking deprives child victims the privilege to exercise their wide range of rights, including the right to belong and identify, the right to freedom, education among others. ANPPCAN(2010).
As a result of this, the study on the causes, effects and remedies of street hawking in Nigeria is worth pursuing. It is hoped that the findings of this study will provide meaningful information as to the stoppage of the act in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
Female living in rural areas in Nigeria often lack access to quality education, good health and other basic needs which make their parents to entrust them in the hands of other family members who are financially upright to help them train their female.
However, this custom has been abused by those family members or relatives because of the exposure of these female to hazardous work, prostitution and other forms of inhuman activities.
This act posses a serious challenges to the growth of the Nigerian society, economically, socially and politically.