Factors influencing adolescent pregnancies with intent for child trafficking in selected vulnerable communities in Nigeria: A qualitative exploration

Turnwait O. Michael, Tolulope F. Ojo, Richard D. Agbana, Olasupo A. Ijabadeniyi, Michael A. Ibikunle, Olaniyi E. Oluwasanmi, Bukola O. Ilori

Abstract

In accordance with the United Nations Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights and Human Trafficking, intentional adolescent pregnancies for the purpose of child trafficking are a grave violation of human rights, demonstrating egregious exploitation. This study examines the determinants of deliberate adolescent pregnancies aimed at selling newborns to child traffickers in Nigeria. Employing a qualitative design, purposive sampling was utilized to select 46 participants, including eight pregnant adolescent girls (aged 11 to 16), seven family members of the pregnant adolescents, six community leaders, and twentyfive community members. Semi-structured in-depth interviews and focus group discussions were used. Audio-recorded interviews were meticulously transcribed and translated from Ibibio to English by certified language experts to preserve meaning. Thematic analysis employed identified themes and sub-themes. Data underwent coding, categorization, and analysis using ATLAS.ti qualitative software. Determinant factors influencing deliberate pregnancies among adolescent girls for child trafficking include socioeconomic vulnerability, marital infertility, societal pressure, money rituals, criminal exploitation, limited education access, and inadequate legal protection. A holistic approach addressing socioeconomic disparities, cultural norms, criminal networks, legal protections, and education empowerment offers promise to eradicate buying and selling of babies. By confronting these factors, Nigeria can forge a safer, more equitable future for its adolescent girls. (Afr J Reprod Health 2024; 28 [3]: 50-62).

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