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HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH — Borderline Slavery — Child Trafficking in Togo

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH — Borderline Slavery — Child Trafficking in Togo
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https://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/togo0403/togo0403.pdf

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, 350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor New York, NY 10118–3299 http://www.hrw.org

Each year, thou­sands of West African chil­dren are traf­ficked from their homes and forced into haz­ardous and unpaid labor. Promised edu­ca­tion, voca­tion­al train­ing, and mate­r­i­al goods, these chil­dren find them­selves bru­tal­ly exploit­ed in the fields, fac­to­ries, mar­kets, and homes of numer­ous West African coun­tries. Many are orphans, forced to earn a liv­ing after los­ing a par­ent to AIDS or oth­er causes.

This report, based on inter­views with traf­ficked boys and girls in Togo, doc­u­ments egre­gious abus­es inflict­ed at every stage of the traf­fick­ing process: recruit­ment, trans­porta­tion, recep­tion at their des­ti­na­tion, exploita­tion in the work­place, and in some cas­es return. Chil­dren recount life-threat­en­ing jour­neys to their coun­tries of des­ti­na­tion, often by boat on the open sea. They describe bru­tal work­ing con­di­tions, beat­ings, death threats, and the prospect of nev­er see­ing their fam­i­lies again. Some who escape end up work­ing in pros­ti­tu­tion in Lomé, Togo’s cap­i­tal, where they face the risk of HIV infec­tion and many oth­er dan­gers. Oth­ers nev­er make it home alive.

Bor­der­line Slav­ery doc­u­ments the fail­ure of West African gov­ern­ments, their bilat­er­al donors and the Unit­ed Nations to meet their human rights oblig­a­tions in their response to child traf­fick­ing. It pro­vides detailed rec­om­men­da­tions on the pre­ven­tion of these appalling abus­es, the pro­tec­tion of traf­ficked chil­dren and the pros­e­cu­tion of traffickers.

 

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