Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page


To all West African governments implicated in the trafficking of children, including Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Gabon4
· Take immediate and effective steps to prosecute child trafficking under domestic law, including the ratification of the United Nations (U.N.) Protocol to the Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime to Prevent, Suppress and Punish the Trafficking of Persons especially Women and Children (2000-the Trafficking Protocol) and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (2000). Enact legislation creating the offense of child trafficking, consistent with the above protocols as well as with the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 182 and Recommendation No. 190 concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour (1999). Promptly investigate, prosecute and punish perpetrators of trafficking in children, using existing penal laws until targeted anti-trafficking legislation is enacted.

· Consistent with the consensus decision of the 2002 consultation meeting in Libreville, Gabon, of twenty-one African states, establish a regional anti-trafficking convention, ensuring that any convention incorporates full protection of the human rights of trafficked children. Include in the convention a consistent regional protocol for the return, repatriation and rehabilitation of trafficked children, through collaboration between "sending," "receiving" and "transit" countries, local NGOs, multilateral organizations such as the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and ILO, children and parents. Consistent with the above treaties, establish protocols for police officers, gendarmes,5 other state officials and outreach workers to follow when children who claim to have been trafficked seek their help, including the safe delivery home or to a place of safety, and monitor the application of those protocols. Specify that children may not be placed in detention for legal transgressions arising from their having been trafficked, and release any trafficked child who has been placed in a punitive institution. Include protocols to monitor the progress of child trafficking survivors and ensure they are not retrafficked. Guarantee basic human rights protections such as witness protection and alternative care for children who cannot be returned to their parents.

· Take immediate and effective steps to prevent the recruitment of children for the purposes of child trafficking by, among other things, developing a protocol for identifying and pre-empting potential child traffickers; disseminating information about child trafficking to students, community and religious leaders and all personnel working for and with children; giving priority attention to the expansion of educational and vocational opportunities for children, especially girls; and targeting orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDS as a vulnerable group in the context of child trafficking.

· Intervene in the transport of trafficked children by reinforcing border controls and establishing protocols to identify and apprehend child traffickers. Monitor the application of these protocols by, among other things, investigating any border guard alleged to have accepted bribes from or charged "fees" to child traffickers. Station officers not only at national borders but at transit points where trafficked children are known to congregate before or after arriving at their country of destination.

· Take immediate and effective steps to address the commercial exploitation of trafficked children. Enact and enforce specific regulations governing minimum age of employment, hours of work, hazards unique to child labor such as use of dangerous equipment, forms of labor likely to be injurious to children, corporal punishment, entitlement to rest and leisure, and compensation. Take all appropriate law enforcement measures against perpetrators of physical and/or sexual violence against child domestic workers, and ensure care and support to children who have suffered physical or sexual violence.

In addition to the above, additional recommendations directed at all West African countries implicated in the trafficking of children, to the government of Togo specifically, to donors supporting West African governments, to the United Nations, and to multilateral organizations in Africa can be found in Section IX: Detailed Recommendations.

4 These countries are implicated by testimony in this report; however, within the West Africa region the ILO has also documented child trafficking in Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Mali.

5 A gendarme is a member of the armed security forces with responsibility for general law enforcement.

Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page