Friday, August 20, 2010

Single mothers sell newborns at Kokopo market


By EVAH KUAMIN

YOUNG mothers in East New Britain are selling new-born babies cheaply at the Kokopo market for money to sustain their daily needs, The National reports.
Kokopo town mayor Albert Buanga revealed this yesterday after receiving two cases in which two young women, aged in their early to mid-20s, sold their infants to a local family.
Buanga said the young mothers were single and had wanted to discard their unwanted babies by selling them cheaply for cash.
This, he said, was illegal and against Christian teachings and principles.
According to the mayor, the transaction of cash sale for the babies had been between K100 and K150 which, he added, was a cheap and fast way of getting rid of the infants.
Buanga condemned this type of business which he described as immoral and portrayed total disrespect for the souls of the newborns.
A senior welfare officer interviewed regarding the issue also condemned the act by the young women.
“Lives cannot be sold as a commodity; biblically it is wrong.
“It is bad for society and labels the society as corrupt,” he said.
Babies, he said, should not be victimised in such a way.
He said children’s lives should be protected and not commercialised.
The officer urged the division of community development in the province to seriously look into the matter and address it promptly.
He said awareness on unwanted pregnancies should be conducted immediately.
“In this way, young mothers and women will know that there are procedures involved if they are unable to care for their children,” he said.
The police sexual offences squad in Kokopo also confirmed the reports, saying that the first case was reported earlier this year.
The case involved a young mother who sold her newborn baby for K500 to a family from Bitavavar village in the Kokopo-Vunamami urban LLG.
Police intervened and told the family to return the baby or make legal arrangements through the civil court for adoption.
Several mothers The National spoke to at the new Kokopo market confirmed that they had seen two young women with the infants at the market just before midday yesterday.
They had informed other women that they were selling the infants for prices ranging between K100 and K150.
The community development office in Kokopo could not comment on the matter as officers were awaiting direction from the office of the director of child welfare and protection services in Port Moresby.
Meanwhile, Buanga had appealed to the public to report any persons selling babies to the urban town authority or the welfare section of the community development office.

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