Forced child labour remains a source of concern in Nigeria, according the International Labor Organization, the number of children working under the age of 14 in Nigeria is estimated at 15 million. These jobs include street vending, begging, car washing and shoe shiners, while a large number work as domestic servants and farm hands. According to UNICEF, causes of child labour include widespread poverty, rapid urbanisation, breakdown in extended family affiliations, high school drop out rates and lack of enforcement of legal instruments meant to protect children.
Hanou was trafficked at 9 years old when her parents sent her to Nigeria to work as a servant.
My parents sent me to Nigeria. I was a servant. I cooked yam, bread, rice and beans to sell near the road. I was told it would be easy work, starting at 8am and finishing at 1pm. But when I was there, I worked from 4am to 11pm.
One day when I was cooking, some hot food poured on my feet. I wept all day and refused to eat. The following day Madame dumped me at the border and gave me the bus fare.
Narrative provided courtesy of Plan International