PERCEPTION OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS AND PARENTS IN EDO STATE ON FACTORS INFLUENCING WOMEN TRAFFICKING: IMPLICATION FOR CURRICULUM REVIEW

PERCEPTION OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS AND PARENTS IN EDO STATE ON FACTORS INFLUENCING WOMEN TRAFFICKING: IMPLICATION FOR CURRICULUM REVIEW

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ABSTRACT

This study was set to investigate the „Perception of University Students and Parents in Edo State on Factors Influencing Women Trafficking: Implication for Curriculum Review‟.  The researcher employed the survey research method. The population of the study comprised of two universities, 500 students and 500 parents. The simple random sampling technique was used to select 100 students and 100 parents. The respondents were 100 students and 100 parents. A 30 – item questionnaire was constructed and used in collecting the needed information from the respondents. Mean score was used to answer the research questions and the chi – square (χ2) of independence was used to test the corresponding hypotheses. The analysis of data collected for the research led to the following findings (among others): that victims were subjected to oaths and debt bondage; victims were mainly recruited by family members and acquaintances, and travelled of their own free will, but claimed that they were deceived about the nature of their jobs in Italy; most victims‟ parents are engaged in low-income occupation; most of the victims came from autocratic family background; people have become more willing to engage in previously condemned forms of sexuality because religious exercises now has less control on individuals; customs and traditions forbid prostitution in Edo State but women still go in for it because of the financial gains involved. Based on the findings, the researcher strongly recommended (among others): that federal government policy on women trafficking must be depoliticized; there should be an enabling law that would authorize the confistication of assets acquired from trafficking to deter traffickers; Edo State Government should set up more skill acquisition centres where the youth can acquire various occupational skills; government should set up effective rehabilitation centres, identify some NGOs and draw up a programme for rehabilitation of victims after they have left the rehabilitation centre; and the curriculum should be reviewed to reflect skill acquisition.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1        Backgroundto the Study

The people of Edo State, Nigeria, consist of a group of historically related people who trace their origins or ancestry to the Benin Kingdom. The inhabitants of the kingdom of Benin were also known as Edo people. The names Edo and Benin can be used interchangeably. Edo is better used in vernacular speech, while Benin is used in English. Both names thus represent the land and people of Benin. The people of Edo State can be divided into five (5) main ethnic groups distinct from each other in certain linguistics, social and some cultural features. These are Benin or the Edo proper, Esan, Etsako, Owan  and Akoko Edo (Justice and Home, 2010).

Edo State has a lot of economical potential.  Unfortunately, most of the youth are no longer interested in farming activities. They prefer wage employment. Since its creation, Edo State has been experiencing economic hardship as a result of implementation of macroeconomic policies adopted by the Federal Government since 1982. Economic stabilization policies adopted since 1982 and especially the Structural Adjustment Programme adopted in 1986 have had depressing effects on employment, incomes, and the standard of living. The Structural Adjustment Programme with its restrictive financial policies, retrenchment of public sector workers and a freeze on wage increases, have had very harsh impacts on the State. Successive waves of retrenchment in the State public service, failure to pay retirement benefits, and irregular payment of salaries, have all raised the incidence of poverty in the State.  The high incidence of poverty and absence of jobs have contributed to the large number of  Edo State  citizens, male and female, leaving the State for foreign countries in search of better economic prospects. It has also led to increased criminal activities and forced young girls into domestic and international prostitution (Abogunrin, 2009). 

All the victims unanimously claimed that the main reason why they and other youths with similar experiences travelled abroad was because there was no money forthcoming for them, and no jobs were available. Even when some got jobs, the income from such jobs were not sufficient, some could not get suitable jobs nor had sufficient money for higher education, hence the desire to travel outside the country to seek greener pastures. Since other youths like them had travelled abroad and were relatively doing well, they too wanted to leave the country. Other reasons were: low level of education of girls; large family size; polygamy; poverty, and lack of good moral upbringing of children nowadays (Clement, 2009).

The victims of human trafficking are deceived and exploited in different ways by human traffickers within Nigeria, along the routes as well as when they arrive in Italy (James, 2007). The beginning of exploitation of victims starts with deception about the conditions of work when they arrive in Italy. Majority of the Law Enforcement Agents agreed that recruiters lie to victims and their relations about what victims would experience during the trip and after their arrival in the destination country. The most common types of deception (lies) are deception about: nature of work; conditions of work; living conditions in destination country; method of travel; and immigration rules in destination countries. The victims are also deceived through purported videocassette recordings from friends and relations in destination countries, describing life as being very promising in these countries and inviting them to come and join them (Darling, Kallen & Van Duensan (2004). 

Trafficking for prostitution is now so ingrained in Edo State, especially in Benin City and its immediate environs, that it is estimated that virtually every Benin family has one member or the other involved in trafficking either as a victim, sponsor, madam or trafficker (Oladipupo, 2003).

Many families pride themselves on having their daughter, wife, sister, or other relation in Italy, Spain or the Netherlands, pointing to houses, cars, boreholes and other material things acquired with the money sent by their daughters. This is especially noticed in obituary announcements where all surviving children are in European countries (Oronsaye & Odiase, 2004).

The research is concerned about the large numbers of girls from Edo State who are victims of trafficking in minors and young women for sexual exploitation abroad is a source of embarrassment to the State. The researcher however, opined that women trafficking in Edo State will be minimized if human trafficking is built and emphasized in the curriculum of primary, secondary and tertiary schools in Edo State.  

1.2        Statement of the Problem

Trafficking in minors and young women is a special phenomenon that is spreading across every region around the world. Generally, people are trafficked from developing to developed countries in search of better opportunities. Increased female migration is partly due to the feminisation of poverty. The countries of origin do not have sufficient resources to provide these minors and young women with adequate employment for a life with dignity. Their aim was to go abroad to suffer for a few months; earn huge amounts of money and return home to help the family. However, the reality was often different. 

About 80% of girls and women trafficked into Italy from Nigeria are from Edo State (Loconto, 2008). This is curious because traditionally this ethnic group does not encourage prostitution. Girls and women trafficked from Nigeria are often made to undergo some rites in order not to reveal the identity of their traffickers and madams to the Police and to pay their “debts” without creating problems. There is insufficient information on the traffickers and their modus operandi on which operational guidelines for a national strategy can be based. In addition, social workers and Law Enforcement officers are not adequately trained, and victim – witness protection schemes are non – existent or have not been implemented. Absence of efficient mechanisms to support local communities in prevention activities, and for the reintegration of trafficked minors and young women, results in increased vulnerability of individuals. These issues are the concerns of the research.

In the light of this, the study is set to find   out the “Perception of University Students and Parents in Edo State on Factors Influencing Women Trafficking; and the implication of this for Curriculum Review”.

1.3        Objectives of the Study

This research is aimed at:

(i)                 assessing students (female & male) and parents perceptions of social factors influencing women trafficking in Edo State on the account of gender.

(ii)               assessing students and parents opinions on the extent to which financial factors can influence women trafficking in Edo State on the account of age.

(iii)             assessing students and parents perceptions of the extent to which psychological factors can influence women trafficking in Edo State on the account of parental social status.

(iv)             finding out parents and students perceptions of the extent to which religious factors can influence women trafficking in Edo State on the account of religious affiliation.

(v)               assessing students and parents perceptions of the extent to which cultural factors can influence women trafficking in Edo State on the account of parental control.

1.4        Research Questions

The research questions of this study are as follows:

(i)                 How do students (male and female) and parents perceive social factors influencing women trafficking in Edo State on the account of gender?

(ii)               How do students and parents perceive financial factors influencing women trafficking in Edo State on the account of age?

(iii)             How do students and parents perceive psychological factors influencing women trafficking in Edo State on the account of parental social status?

(iv)             How do students and parents perceive religious factors influencing women

trafficking in Edo State on the account of religious affiliation?

(v)               How do students and parents perceive cultural factors influencing women

trafficking in Edo State on the account of parental control?

1.5        Hypotheses

Based on the research questions raised on the problem of this study, the following null hypotheses were formulated.

(i)                 There is no significant difference between students and parents in their perception of social factors influencing women trafficking in Edo State on the account of gender.

(ii)               There is no significant difference between students and parents in their perception of financial factors influencing women trafficking in Edo State on the account of age.

(iii)             There is no significant difference between students and parents in their perception of psychological factors influencing women trafficking in Edo State on the account of parental social status.

(iv)             There is no significant difference between students and parents in their perception of religious factors influencing women trafficking in Edo State on the account of religious affiliation. 

(v)               There is no significant difference between students and parents in their perception of cultural factors influencing women trafficking in Edo State on the account of parental control.

1.6        Significance of the Study

The study is important because it gives some insight into the factors that influence women trafficking in Edo State. The findings of this study will enable the curriculum planners to include and emphasize women trafficking at all levels of educational institutions in Edo State. The curriculum can also be reviewed to address job creation and entrepreneurship studies. Government politicking about women trafficking in Nigeria should be made a reality. The study will also help the government to beef up effective campaigns against women trafficking in Nigeria. The government can also see the need to grant free education to women at all levels of education in Nigeria. The government can create more job opportunities for women in Nigeria. The government should ensure that victims are properly rehabilitated and the rehabilitation centres well equipped. The research will assist the government to see the reasons why counselling services should be rendered to both victims and parents. It will give the signs to the government to stop prostitution within the country. It will also encourage the government to give cheap capital to the victim to set up their businesses after rehabilitation centres if they wish to go into self - employment. The research will help the religion and community leaders to see their duties and responsibilities to the society. It will encourage the government to set up additional skill acquisition centres. It also assists the teachers to teach the students the consequences of women trafficking to the victims and the general public. It is of benefits to the policy makers because they need to contribute their quota in alleviating women trafficking in Nigeria and Edo State in particular.  It further enhances good international relationship between Nigeria and other countries.

1.7        Assumptions of the Study

It is assumed that:

1)      the age of the girls influences women trafficking in Edo State;

2)      sex influences women trafficking in Edo State;

3)      religious affiliation influences women trafficking in Edo State;

4)      parental status influences women trafficking in Edo State;

5)      parental control influences women trafficking in Edo State;

6)      entrepreneurship education can reduce unemployment in Edo State;

7)      poverty will be alleviated when the curriculum is reviewed to address job creation in Edo

State.

1.8       Scope of the Study

The researcher investigates “Perception of University Students and Parents in Edo State on Factors Influencing Women Trafficking and explores implication for Curriculum Review”. The research is carried out in Edo State.  The researcher used final year students of University of Benin & Ambrose Alli University and parents as the respondents.  The researcher limited the scope of the study to final year students because the students are the same age bracket (young adults) and are likely to be vulnerable to risk taking behaviours like prostitution and should be able to perceive factors that can influence women trafficking.  Parents are also involved because of their influence on their children to take into women trafficking in Edo State.  


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