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1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The phenomenon of street hawking among teenagers in Nigeria has been a source of growing concern in both academic and policy circles in recent years. The first and most pressing effect of street hawking is the negative implication it has on the socio-economic and political development of the country.(Ebigbo 2003:98). Street hawking is a form of child labour that is very common in most cities in Nigeria, where the incomes are low and have proved inadequate to cater for a whole family .Under this circumstance, a child /teenager may be made to hawk along the busy streets and major highways in order to supplement the family income. Some commonly hawked items include: soft drinks, fruits of every kind, cold water sachets, clothing materials, footwears, and other materials (Isamah and Okunola, 2002; Denzerand Agbaje1996). In the same vein, Umar(2009) opined that street hawking is a form of selling goods along the road from one place to the other. It also extends to be an act of canvassing for sale items carried by a hawker along the street, from house to house or in the public space (Ikechebebu, Udigwe, Ezechukwu, Ndinachi and Ikechebebu 2008:114).Street hawking is a veritable means of socialization in the northern part of Nigeria and it is widely practiced despite the attendant moral and physical dangers for children (Ebigbo, 2003:103).
In Nigeria, street hawking is done mostly by female children/teenagers; teenage girls hawk different items, ranging from food to different types of non-edible items. According to oloko (1991),a teenager is a young person whose age falls within the range of 13 and 19.The child right act of 2003 advanced that children have the right to education, health, legal protection, dignity and security. However the act of teenage hawking has deprived the teenager the right to pursue legitimate activities such as going to school full time, enjoying recreational facilities and having adequate leisure time at home for proper growth and development.
The prevalence of street hawking in Nigeria and Kaduna south local government area of Kaduna state for instance has been attributed to several factors. These among others include the relatively rapid population growth of the country and Kaduna south local government in particular, high rates of unemployment, lack of sponsorship, poor school performance, single parenthood, large family size, parental pressure, inflation, low wages and the deplorable working conditions have contributed to incidence of street hawking. All these are necessitated by the fact that children tend to help and support their families to cope with the challenges of daily living or for their own personal gains.(Ebigbo 2003:98). It is worthy to note at this juncture that in spite of the basic principles of the international convention on the rights of the child which stipulates that every child or teenager must be protected against all forms of exploitation, indecent or degrading treatment, including child labour (hawking).The phenomenon of child hawking in Nigeria particularly in Kaduna south local government area has continued at an alarming rate. It is in the light of the above that the research aims to underscore the prevalence and determinants of street hawking among teenage girls specifically in Kaduna south local government area with the view to provide recommendations with policy implication.
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM.
Successive governments in the country have over the years made concerted efforts towards the eradication of all forms of violence and abuses on children. Butin spite of these relentless efforts, teenage hawking have continued to pose a serious challenge to the country because of the negative effect it has on the life of the teenager (Isamah and Okundu, 2002). The problem of street hawking is pervasive especially among teenage girls in Kaduna south local government area of Kaduna State. Most often than not, teenage girls in this area are seen carrying food and other trading items worth usually less than 200 naira on the streets, under the tree, on major road, in hospital premises and in the market under the sun. These teenagers stay outside their houses for several hours selling; they do not attend school during the period of hawking. Child hawking exposes the child to a lot of hazards like sexual defilement, sexual assault, neglects and threat of different forms of punishment. The consequences of these act may result in unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, psychological problems and a gradual withdrawal from a healthy relationship with the opposite gender (UNICEF,2000).
Oloko (1989) noted that street hawking exposes the teenage hawker to dangers posed by fraudsters and actual murderers because of their vulnerability at odd hawking hours. They are usually under personal jeopardy, harsh and hazardous conditions such as becoming an easy target to occult predators and ritual killers.
The most excruciating aspect of the whole issue is that despite government’s efforts to curb the menace of teenage hawking, not much has been achieved as the trend has continued to escalate. It is in view of the above challenges that the research is undertaken to underscore the prevalence and determinants of street hawking among teenage girls in Kaduna south local government area, Kaduna state.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This study attempts to answer the following questions;
1. What are the causes of street hawking amongst teenage girls in Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna state?
2. What are the effects of street hawking on teenage girls in Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna state?
3. What are the possible solutions to the problem of street hawking on teenage girls in Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna state?
1.4 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
The general objective of this study is to examine the prevalence and determinants of street hawking among teenage girls in Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna State. However, the specific objectives are as follows:-
1. To identify the causes of hawking among teenage girls in Kaduna South Local
2. To ascertain the effects of street hawking among teenage girls in the study area.
3. To suggest possible solution to the problem of hawking among teenage girls in the study area.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The emphasis of this study is on the prevalence and determinants of street hawking among teenage girls focusing on Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna state. Kaduna south Local government area was chosen for this study because hawking by teenage girls is prevalent and most of these teenagers are affected negatively. All respondents and information as regard the issue under discussion will be sorted from the local government. However, the study is not devoid of common problems that may accrue in the course of its conduct which stem from financial constraint to limited time.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The menace of teenage hawking in Nigeria and the negative consequences it has on the nations socio-economic and political development demands that adequate attention must be paid in combating the phenomenon. Therefore, a research on the prevalence and determinants of teenage hawking is a step in the right direction.
The study will be of benefit to the government in enhancing the Childs right bill that has been passed into law in 2005and this is because the study will identify some of the major causes of teenage hawking in Nigeria. The suggestions raised by this study will therefore serve as a blue print for the government in strengthening the rights of children in the country.
The recommendations of this study will guide all Nigerians that are interested in halting this negative practice of teenage hawking. In addition, it is hoped that the government will show more interest in combating the menace of teenage hawking. It will also be of great importance to academics because it will add to the existing body of literature and serve as a contribution to the on-going debate of eradicating all forms of violence and abuses against children in the country.
1.7 TYPES AND SOURCES OF DATA
The study will use both primary and secondary data. The primary data will be collected through the administration of questionnaires and other relevant interviews. While the secondary data will be sourced from newspapers, publications etc. Both questionnaires and Key informant interview guide (KII ) will be properly designed in line with the study objectives that served as the basis upon which data will be gathered from the study population.
1.8 UNIT OF ANALYSIS
The researchers units of analysis consist of teenage girls who are seen hawking in the study area, community leaders and parents/guardian.
1.9 DEFINITION OF KEYWORDS
STREET HAWKING: This connotes offering of goods for sale on a public road in a city, town etc. it is considered as the act of canvassing for sale of items carried by the hawkers along the street from house to house or in public places in the town(Umar,2003)
CHILD LABOUR: Is any form of physical, psychological, social, emotional, mental, academic or sexual maltreatment of a child, whereby the survival, safety, self esteem, growth and development of the child are endangered.
TEENAGER: A teenager or teen is a young person whose age falls within the range from 13-19.They are called teenagers because their age number ends with teen.
HAWKING: It is defined as the offer for sale by going from house or street to street. It is a system of trading whereby the trader carries his wares about.
GIRL: A female child from birth to adulthood.
CHILDREN: A young human being below the age of puberty or below the legal age of majority.
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