1.1 Background to the Study
All over the world, the birth of a child is a thing of joy. Children therefore occupy a special position in the life of any family or nation. In African tradition as well as Nigeria and Edo state in particular, the importance of children cannot be over emphasized. In the old days, the task of caring and bringing up a child was not only that of the parents, but also the entire community. In those days parents and guardians treat their children with much love and affection. They fended for the children, give attention to their needs, and protect their interests in the cultural and social lives of the community. The above fact is without prejudice to the many forces and conditions in our society today, which violate the complete development of children and the unfolding of their potentials. One of these conditions that militate against the well – being of the child these days is child trafficking (Odigie & Chinenye 2008)
Child trafficking is a phenomenon that is currently generating a lot of concern globally, in African countries like Nigeria and Edo State in particular, where it is highly prevalent. It is the third largest criminal activity in the world today after arms and drug trafficking (Tola, 2008). In the last decade, child trafficking has considerably increased throughout the world and most especially in Nigeria. Every year, millions of children are misled or forced to submit to servitude. The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2000), recognized children‟s rights, and has provided a legal basis to combat child trafficking. But their scope is limited by the lack of a clear and publicly accepted definition of child trafficking in West Africa, where the terms “trafficking”, “abduction” or “Sales of children” have different meanings in different countries.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Edo state, the „Heart beat of Nigeria‟, has been labeled as “the endemic source of child trafficking in Nigeria” (Braimah 2013). As a result of this negative label, a number of international organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have intervened to combat the menace in the state. Despite these interventions, child trafficking is still very rife in the area.
Information gathered by the researcher (based on interactions with some villagers and individuals in Edo state) showed that victims of child trafficking are not always willing to go back to school after they have been rescued and recovered from the trafficking chain. From the interactions, the villagers disclosed that victims when recovered from the traffickers exhibit certain unpleasant characteristics which were not common to them before they were trafficked. Such characteristics they said include: social exclusion, intolerance, sadness, despair and lack of interest and pleasure in nearly everything that would ordinarily excite young individual. They also noted that even if these victims are kept in school, some of them may withdraw (have drop-out tendencies) on their own. Based on these observations and revelations from these individuals, the researcher is prompted to embark on investigating the phenomenon. If researchers and educationists understand the level of influence of child trafficking on personality and academic adjustment among secondary school students, ways and means could be devised to boost the personality of the victims and enhance their academic adjustment, so that they would be able to stay in school for proper education and re-integration into the society. Based on the background therefore, the researcher is prompted to investigate the
topic” Influence of child trafficking on personality and academic adjustment among Junior Secondary School students in Edo state.”
1.3 Objective of the Study
The objectives of this study are:
- To examine the influence of child trafficking between victims and non-victims in their personality psychological stress level among Junior Secondary School students in Edo state.
- To examine the influence of child trafficking between victims and non-victims in their personality depression level among Junior Secondary School students in Edo state
- To examine the influence of childtrasfficking between victims and non-victims in their academic adjustment among Junior Secondary School students in Edo state.
1.4 Research Questions
In order to guide this investigation, the following research questions are formulated:
- What is the difference between victims and non-victims of child trafficking in their personality psychological stress among Junior Secondary Scholl students in Edo state?
- What is the difference between victims and non-victims of child trafficking in their personality depression among Junior Secondary School students in Edo state?
- What is the difference between victims and non-victims of child trafficking in their academic adjustment among Junior Secondary School students in Edo state?