The Africa Report: 18 October

EWN’s Africa Correspondent Jean-Jacques Cornish reports on the day’s top African news

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ANTI-SLAVERY REPORT LISTS AFRICA'S WORST OFFENDERS

According to an anti-slavery report, Nigeria and Mauritania are the worst offenders in Africa in terms of modern slavery.

The Walk Free Foundation, which originated from Australia, released a report entitled the Global Slavery Index 2013.

This is the first edition of the Index and the Foundation plans to release one annually.

It provides an estimate of the number of people living in modern slavery.

Globally, an estimated 29.8 million people are in modern slavery.

The prevalence of modern slavery is highest in Mauritania, Haiti, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Moldova, Benin, Cote D'Ivoire, The Gambia, and Gabon.

However, in absolute terms, the countries with the highest number of enslaved people are India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Russia, Thailand, Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, and Bangladesh.

There are an estimated 160 000 people enslaved in the West African country Mauritania, 20 percent of their population.

An estimated 740 000 enslaved in Nigeria.

Modern slavery in Mauritania and Nigeria includes chattel slavery, debt bondage, forced labour, and forced marriages.

Other African countries with alarming number of enslaved people include Benin (76 000 - 84 000), Cote D'Ivoire (150 000 - 160 000), The Gambia (13 000 - 15 000), and Gabon (13 000 - 14 000).

BRITISH SOCIAL SERVICES WARNED OF MIRACLE BABIES AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING

British Social Services have been warned that miracle babies are often a cover for human trafficking.

Child protection organisations The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), The Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS), and Children and Families Across Borders (CFAB) have warned British social workers to be vigilant about couples returning from Africa with babies.

They are warning that these miracle babies are often a cover-up for child trafficking.

Many of the couples involved in these kinds of cases are Evangelical Christians.

Some use faith to cover up their criminal intentions while others are overtaken by their faith and believe that have miraculously conceived.

Often, women with fertility problems are given a drug that bloats their stomach and they go into a bogus labour.

These "miracle babies" are often the biological children of poor, illiterate young women who have been coerced to sell their baby.

FIVE CHILDREN KILLED BY OLD MORTAR EXPLODING IN SOUTH SUDAN

Five children have died in South Sudan after an old mortar exploded.

The children were digging for scrap metal in an old army barrack near the capital city of Juba.

With an unknown number of unexploded mines and mortars across Africa, this is sadly bound to reoccur.