By Margaret John
We The People (WTP), a civil society organization has revealed that children are being given out to prostitution for as little as 100 naira in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
This revelation was made during a stakeholders town hall meeting organized by We The People on Tuesday at Channel View Hotel where attendees comprising of NGOs, Government bodies and the media were enlightened on the increased menace of child prostitution in the State.
The lecture which was delivered by the Project Manager of WTP, Mr. Emmanuel Archibong described in gory details, the various incidents of child prostitution in Calabar which he said were gathered through investigation.
Mr. Archibong explained that through investigation, they came across several underaged girls who were involved in illicit sexual acts for various prices ranging from three to five thousand naira on a good day, to five hundred or even as low as one hundred naira on a less profitable day.
“These girls often referred to as the ‘Lacasera Girls’ are said to be street girls between the ages of 10 to 17 years, who are taken from their male counterparts and placed in designated locations in the town to lure men into nearby allotted brothels for sex and they get paid depending on the the time spent.” Archibong said.
He also revealed the various pickup points of these young girls as well as the category of clients that patronize such illegal brothels, stating that “several efforts made by the law enforcement agencies to close down these brothels have proved abortive as these places soon spring back up due to the patronage of highly placed members of the society, and the connections of the owners.”
During the course of the meeting, participants were made to engage on the topic, share suggestions and provide viable resolutions that would aid in curbing the menace of child prostitution in the State.
Some of the resolutions made were that “the Child Rights Act in Cross River State should be forcefully implemented, as failure to do so has resulted in the continuous practice and escalation of the street child phenomenon and particularly the child prostitution.
“The State Government should be pushed to implement its own laws. If the law is being implemented and people are prosecuted, it will end the willingness of brothel owners to take in children. Take the information to various institutions for awareness; sensitize parents and community gate keepers to avoid giving out their children to these brothel owners who come in the guise of offering financial and educational support.”
Participants were also urged to be a part of the fight by reporting such cases to the law enforcement agents and making little sacrifices to follow up the cases as much as they can.
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