A bill seeking to amend the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibitions) Law Enforcement and Administration Act No.28 of 2005 has proposed a 10-year jail term for persons operating “baby factories.”
The bill, which was sponsored by Enitan Badaru, passed the second reading on the floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
Section 25(b) of the proposed amendment states that “Anybody who unlawfully takes, entices or harbours any pregnant woman out of the custody of her parents or guardians for the purpose of racketeering with such pregnancy, or willingly, sells or attempts to sell a baby, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not below 10 years.”
Badaru, who is the sponsor of the bill, said the main thrust of the bill “is to bring to book through severe penalties, perpetrators of the obnoxious act of racketeering with human pregnancy, operators of baby production factories, persons harbouring pregnant persons under the age of 18 including pregnant adults, and persons selling or attempting to sell a new born baby.”
He added, “The bill also seeks to impose punitive measures on operators of any illegal baby care centre, institution and surrogate home that is not registered with the appropriate government’s institution.
“My respected colleagues, it may alarm you to know that there exists in our country today gangs of racketeers who operate homes of baby production factories where women, young and ladies and even teenagers are held captive to be impregnated by male members of the racket with the sole purpose of giving birth to babies, also purported to facilitate pregnancy for women who are desperately looking for a child.”
The bill also “proposes N1m fine and or a two-year jail term or both for operators of baby care centres, institutions, or unlawfully takes custody or taken custody of a baby or female person, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to these punitive measures.”