Middle East/Africa

Africa Divided over Human Trafficking

by Nicola Smith

There are no reliable figures to state just how many people are either trafficked out of Africa or internally within Africa’s borders. Human Trafficking within many African countries has been said to be rife and as research shows that it is a major issue for men, women and children as many countries are seen as a source and/or a destination country. TRAFFICKING.TODAY examines the issues in each country, highlighting who is trafficked and where they are trafficked to.

At least 34 percent of African countries are major sources for trafficking to Europe. They included Morocco, Algeria, Congo, South Africa, Madagascar, Somalia and Nigeria. In addition, 26 percent – mostly in East Africa – reported trafficking to Arab nations. Most frightening in Africa – children are twice as likely to be trafficked as women, mostly internally. The BBC’s Imogen Foulkes in Geneva reported that 89% of the countries had trafficking to and from neighbouring countries with internal trafficking being very high.

How can this high percentage of victims be brought down? Education is a start but a slow process for many cultures. For example, in the Republic of Congo some miners inherit the debt of deceased family members which can last generation after generation and the individual has no hope of leaving their enslaved workplace. Children leaving school at a young age or not even going to school, can be seen as an acceptable practice.

Although many countries in Africa have passed laws to stop Human Trafficking and help victims, yet arrests and prosecutions remain low. There are not enough shelters for the victims or rehabilitation centres either. Why are the laws not been used to address the issue? Why are so many judicial systems failing the people of Africa?

Human Trafficking is a difficult and complex subject and Africa has a long way to go. In 1441, the Portuguese started the African slave trade across the Atlantic and to Europe, yet in 2016 some 575 year later, many laws have been written on slavery, the abolishment of slavery and trafficking and yet here we are today finding the need to create more awareness on the subject. Human Trafficking seem to be getting worse, not better, as a global epidemic of human debauchery it is happening in most countries around the world. This report focuses on Human Trafficking in Africa to highlight the continual problems faced by Africans on a daily basis.

North and north-eastern Africa

Morocco – A destination and transit country

Who is trafficked?
Men, women and children are subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Rural Moroccan girls as young as 6 years old are recruited to work in domestic service in cities, becoming victims of forced labour. Moroccan boys endure forced labour while employed as apprentices in the artisanal, construction industries and in repair shops.
Where are they trafficked to?
Moroccan men, women and children are exploited in Europe and the Middle East. Moroccan women are forced into prostitution primarily in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan, Libya, Syria and in Europe. Moroccan men subject to debt bondage. Moroccan men and boys, lured to Europe by fraudulent job offers, are subsequently forced to sell drugs. Some foreigners, particularly European nationals, primarily from France and Spain, engage in child sex tourism in major Moroccan cities.

Algeria – A transit and destination country and, to a lesser extent, a source country

Who is trafficked?
Single women and women traveling with children are vulnerable to exploitation. Sub-Saharan African men and women, often en-route to neighbouring countries or Europe, enter Algeria voluntarily but illegally, frequently end up being trafficked by local gangs. Armed fundamentalist and terrorist organisations have been known to kidnap and abduct young Algerian women and force them into temporary marriages or subject them to rape and extreme physical violence – many are murdered by their captors. Women and children have been found within the sex industry, as well as on construction sites. Trafficked victims have also been used to harvest their organs.
Where are they trafficked to?
Trafficking within Algeria is very much and internal issue. Some Algerian women and to a much lesser extent children, endure sex trafficking in Algeria. Some women are trafficked to Israel, Italy and other western countries for sexual exploitation and early marriages.

Libya – A transit and destination country

Who is trafficked?
Men and women from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia are trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. Migrants typically seek employment in Libya as labourers and domestic employees or transit Libya en-route to Europe.
Where are they trafficked to?
Syrian nationals temporarily residing in Sudan preferred to travel through Libya en-route to Italy with the use of smugglers – many Syrians risk being trafficked. In February 2015, the media reported a Russian trafficking network brought hundreds of Bangladeshi nationals via Libya to Italy, where they subsequently endured forced labour. Prostitution rings reportedly subject sub-Saharan women to sex trafficking in brothels, particularly in southern Libya. Nigerian women are at heightened risk of being forced into prostitution, while Eritreans, Sudanese and Somalis are at risk of being subjected to forced labour in Libya.

Egypt – A source, transit and destination country

Who is trafficked?
Women and children are sexually exploited and are trafficked for forced labour. Street children – both boys and girls – are exploited in prostitution and forced begging. Egyptian children are recruited for domestic and agricultural labour, mostly in cotton fields. Organ trafficking among Sudanese refugees and other asylum seekers in the nation has been identified.
Where are they trafficked to?
Egypt is a country of transit for child trafficking, particularly for underage girls from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union who are trafficked into Israel. Organ trafficking among traffickers is a major problem, with the migrating person unable to pay their way as they pass through Egypt to Europe – many have been known to be sold for their organs.

Niger – A source, transit and destination country

Who is trafficked?
Children and women are trafficked for forced labour and forced prostitution. Caste-based slavery practices, rooted in ancestral master-slave relationships, continue primarily in the northern part of the country. Children are forced to labour in the gold mines, as well as agricultural industries and stone quarries. Children and women are also forced into involuntary domestic servitude and forced prostitution. Many girls from Niger are forced to work along the border with Nigeria, particularly in the towns of Birni N’Konni and Zinder along the main highway. Boys are trafficked to Nigeria and Mali for forced begging and manual labour.
Where are they trafficked to?
Nigerien girls are forced into “false marriages” with citizens of Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Niger is a transit country for women and children from Benin, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Togo en-route to northern Africa and Western Europe; some may be subjected to forced labour in Niger as domestic servants, forced labourers in mines and on farms and as mechanics and welders. Nigerien women and children are trafficked from Niger to North Africa, the Middle East and Europe for involuntary domestic servitude and forced commercial sexual exploitation. Children are trafficked within Niger for forced begging by religious instructors known as marabouts.

Chad – A source, transit and destination country

Who is trafficked?
Children are subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. The country’s trafficking problem is primarily internal and frequently involves children being entrusted to relatives or intermediaries in return for promises of education, apprenticeship, goods or money and subsequently subjected to forced labour in domestic service or herding. Children are subjected to forced labour as beggars and agricultural labourers. Children who leave their villages to attend traditional Koranic schools have been known to be forced into begging, street vending or other labour. In some cases, child herders are subjected to forced labour by military or local government officials. Chadian girls travel to larger towns in search of work, where some are subsequently subjected to prostitution or are abused in domestic servitude.
Where are they trafficked to?
Child herders, some of whom are victims of forced labour, follow traditional routes for grazing cattle and, at times, cross ill-defined international borders into Cameroon, Central African Republic and Nigeria. Some of these children are sold in markets for use in cattle or camel herding. Children trafficked for sexual purposes are found in the Bololo, Kabalaye and Ambasatna areas of N’djamena, the capital. Girls from Benin, Cameroon, the Central African Republic and Togo, as well as from Chad, are found in these areas.

Sudan – A source, transit and destination country

Who is trafficked?
Internal trafficking occurs in Sudan, including in areas outside of the government’s control. Sudanese women and girls, particularly those from rural areas or who are internally displaced, are vulnerable to forced labour when serving as domestic workers in homes throughout the country. Children are used as street beggars in Khartoum and other large cities. Sudanese girls engage in prostitution within the country, including in restaurants and brothels, at times with the assistance of third parties.
Where are they trafficked?
Thousands of Dinka women and children, and a lesser number of children from the Nuba tribe, were abducted and subsequently enslaved by members of the Missiriya and Rizeigat tribes during the civil war that spanned from 1983 until 2005; some of those enslaved remain with their captors. In January 2013, Rizeigat militia abducted 96 children—44 girls and 52 boys—from South Sudan’s northern Bahr El Ghazal state and took them to East Darfur following fighting between the South Sudanese army and this militia; the children were released and returned to South Sudan in June 2013. Sudanese women and girls are subjected to domestic servitude in Middle Eastern countries, such as Bahrain, Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Women and girls are trafficked to Europe and Lebanon for sexual exploitation. Sudanese men who voluntarily migrate to the Middle East as low-skilled labourers encounter situations of forced labour. Sudanese children in Saudi Arabia are used by criminal gangs for forced begging and street vending. Sudanese criminal gangs promise Sudanese nationals jobs in Libya and collect facilitation fees to cover their travel expenses, but after crossing the border sell them to Libyan nationals who force them to work in agriculture and other sectors.

East Africa

Eritrea – A source country for men, women and children mainly internal

Who is trafficked?
Men, women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. In connection with a national service programme in which men aged 18 to 54 and women aged 18 to 47 provide military and non-military service, there have been repeated reports that some Eritreans in military service are used as labourers on some commanding officers’ personal properties, as well as in the construction and agricultural sectors.
In Eritrea, children work on the street (some are maimed to generate more money), in the agricultural sector and as domestic servants. Many underage apprentices work in shops and workshops, such as garages or metal workshops in towns. Children are reportedly trafficked to work in brothels and on the streets selling themselves.
Where are they trafficked to?
Smugglers turned traffickers take men women and children to Italy. Children between the ages of 14 and 18 have been used as soldiers to fight during the war for independence from Ethiopia. Displaced women and children fleeing conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia have ended up in prostitution in Djibouti. Some women have also been trafficked to wealthy Arab states to work as domestic servants.

Ethiopia – A source country

Who is trafficked?
Men, women and children are trafficked primarily for the purposes of forced labour and, to a lesser extent, for commercial sexual exploitation. Rural Ethiopian children are trafficked for domestic servitude and, less frequently, for commercial sexual exploitation. They are forced to work in the agricultural sector, traditional weaving, gold mining, street vending and begging.
Where are they trafficked to?
Young Ethiopian women are trafficked to Djibouti and the Middle East, particularly Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain for involuntary domestic labour. A small percentage are trafficked for sexual exploitation to Europe via Lebanon. Small numbers of men are trafficked to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states for exploitation as low-skilled labourers. Both children and adults were trafficked internally from rural to urban areas for domestic labour and, to a lesser extent, for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labour, such as street vending.

Somalia – A source, transit and destination country

Who is trafficked?
Men, women and children are subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Somali ethnic Bantus and Midgaan remain marginalizsed and are sometimes kept in servitude by more powerful Somali clan members as domestic workers, farm labourers and herders. Somalis willingly surrender custody of their children to people with whom they share familial ties and clan linkages had ended up victims of forced labour or sex trafficking. Children do work within their own households or family businesses; however, some children may be forced into labour in agriculture, domestic work, herding livestock, selling or portering khat, crushing stones or in the construction industry.
Where are they trafficked to?
Victims may move from Somalia’s southern and central regions to Puntland and Somaliland in the north. In Somaliland, women act as recruiters and intermediaries transporting victims further, to Puntland, Djibouti and Ethiopia for domestic servitude or sex trafficking. Ethiopian economic migrants, mostly from the Oromia region of Ethiopia, continued transiting Somalia en-route to Libya, Sudan and Europe. Women and girl migrants working in the informal economy were particularly vulnerable to trafficking. Traffickers transport Somali women, sometimes via Djibouti, to the Middle East where they frequently endure domestic servitude or forced prostitution. Somali men experience conditions of forced labour as herdsmen and workers in the Gulf States. Traffickers transport children to Saudi Arabia and force them to beg on the streets. Dubious employment agencies facilitate human trafficking by targeting individuals desiring to migrate to the Gulf States or Europe for employment. Federal government officials allegedly sell falsified travel documents to travel brokers and traffickers. Trucks transporting goods from Kenya to Somalia sometimes return to Kenya with young girls and women; traffickers procure these young girls and women and exploit them in brothels in Nairobi or Mombasa, or send them to destinations outside Kenya. Traffickers smuggle Ethiopian women through Somalia to destinations in the Middle East where they subsequently force them into domestic servitude and prostitution. Ethiopian children travel to Somaliland seeking employment but may instead be forced to beg on the streets. Particularly in coastal regions, some traffickers reportedly compel community elders to convince community members to travel to Europe for employment opportunities; some individuals are subjected to forced labour in Europe. Throughout areas beyond state control, al-Shabaab frequently recruited children for use by its militias, typically through abduction or deception. The terrorist group forced recruitment at mosques, Koranic schools and facilities for neglected children. Al-Shabaab used children for combat and other support functions in southern and central Somalia, including for planting roadside bombs and other explosive devices, serving as human shields during incursions, carrying out assassinations and suicide attacks, providing intelligence, serving as guards and working in domestic service. Al-Shabaab also forcibly recruited young girls and exploited them in sexual servitude.

Kenya – Source and Destination country

Who is trafficking?
Men, Women and Children are trafficked. Kenyan children are forced to labour in domestic service, agriculture, fishing, cattle herding, street vending and begging as well as sexual exploitation.
Where are they trafficked to?
Children are also exploited in prostitution throughout Kenya, including in the coastal sex tourism industry, in eastern khat cultivation areas and near Nyanza’s gold mines. Women, “beach boys,” and sometimes a child’s own parent push children into prostitution in coastal areas to receive payments from tourists. Kenyans voluntarily migrate to other East African nations, South Sudan, Europe, the United States and the Middle East – particularly Saudi Arabia, but also to Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Oman in search of employment, where they are at times exploited in domestic servitude, massage parlours and brothels, or forced manual labour.
Gay and bisexual Kenyan men are lured from universities with promises of overseas jobs, only to be forced into prostitution in Qatar and the UAE. Children from Burundi, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda are subjected to forced labour and prostitution in Kenya.

Tanzania – Source and destination county for men women and children

Who is trafficked?
Internal trafficking is higher than that of transnational trafficking, facilitated by family members, friends or intermediaries who offer assistance with education or finding lucrative employment in urban areas. Young girls in domestic servitude continues to be Tanzania’s largest human trafficking problem, though cases of child trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation are increasing along the Kenya-Tanzania border. Girls are exploited in sex trafficking in tourist areas within the country. Boys are subjected to forced labour, primarily on farms, but also in mines, in the informal commercial sector, in the sex trade and possibly on small fishing boats.
Where are they trafficked to?
Many victims are trafficked to Mozambique, Ethiopia, South Africa, Uganda, Yemen, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the United States, France and possibly other African, Middle Eastern and European countries.

Rwanda – Source and Destination Country for Men women and Children

Who is Trafficked?
Older females have been known to offer vulnerable younger girls room and board, eventually pushing them into prostitution to pay for their expenses. In limited cases, trafficking is facilitated by women who supply other women or girls to clients or by loosely organised prostitution networks, some operating in secondary schools and universities.
Where are they trafficked to?
Rwandan children are also trafficked to Uganda, Tanzania and other countries in the region for forced agricultural labour, commercial sexual exploitation and domestic servitude, sometimes after being recruited by peers.
South Africa

Mozambique – A source, transit and, to a lesser extent, destination country

Who is trafficked?
Men, women and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. The use of forced child labour occurs in agriculture, mining and market vending in rural areas, often with the complicity of family members. Mozambique is believed to be one of the main countries where organ trafficking existed in Nampula, the regional capital of the country’s north.
Where are they trafficked to?
Women and girls from rural areas are lured to cities in Mozambique or South Africa with promises of employment or education but find themselves exploited in domestic servitude and sex trafficking. Mozambican girls are exploited in prostitution in bars, roadside clubs, overnight stopping points and restaurants along the southern transport corridor that links Maputo with Swaziland and South Africa. Children exploited in prostitution is of growing concern in Maputo, Beira, Chimoio, Tete and Nacala, which have highly mobile populations and large numbers of truck drivers. Child prostitution is preverlent in Tete and Cabo Delgado. Mozambican men and boys are subjected to forced labour on South African farms and mines or as street vendors. Mozambican boys migrate to Swaziland to wash cars, herd livestock and sell goods; some subsequently become victims of forced labour. Mozambican adults and girls are subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking in Angola, Italy and Portugal. Persons with albinism (PWA), including children, are increasingly vulnerable to trafficking for the purpose of organ removal. Reports allege traffickers bribe officials to move victims within the country and across national borders to South Africa and Swaziland and prison officials force women to provide sex acts in exchange for provisions.

Botswana – A source, transit and destination country

Who is trafficked?
Women and children are subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Residents of Botswana most vulnerable to trafficking are unemployed women, the rural poor, agricultural workers and children. Some parents in poor rural communities send their children to work for wealthier families as domestic servants in cities or in agriculture and cattle farming in remote areas, increasing their vulnerability to forced labour.
Where are they trafficked to?
The trafficking is internal. Botswana girls and women are possibly exploited in prostitution within the country, including in bars and along major highways by truck drivers. Some women may be subjected to trafficking to neighbouring countries and subjected to sexual exploitation. Officials confirmed for both adults and children of the San ethnic minority group labour conditions on private farms and cattle posts in Botswana’s rural west might rise to the level of forced labour.

Namibia A country of source and destination country

Who is trafficked?
Traffickers exploit Namibian children within the country through forced labour in agriculture, cattle herding and domestic service, as well as prostitution in Windhoek and Walvis Bay. Foreign nationals from southern Africa and Europe are among the clientele of children in prostitution. Namibians commonly house and care for children of distant relatives to provide expanded educational opportunities; however, in some instances, these children are exploited in forced labour. Among Namibia’s ethnic groups, San and Zemba children are particularly vulnerable to forced labour on farms or in homes and, to a lesser extent, are exploited in prostitution.
Where are they trafficked to?
Children from Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe are subjected to prostitution and forced labour in the fishing sector and in organised street vending in Windhoek and other cities. Angolan children may be brought to Namibia for forced labour in cattle herding or to sell drugs.

West Africa

Angola – A source and destination country

Who is trafficked?
Men, women and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour. Angolans, including minors, endure forced labour in the brick-making, domestic service, construction, agricultural and artisanal diamond mining sectors within the country. Angolan girls as young as 13 years old are victims of sex trafficking. Angolan adults use children younger than age 12 for forced criminal activity, because children cannot be criminally prosecuted.
Where are they trafficked to?
The provinces of Luanda, Benguela and the border provinces of Cunene, Namibe, Zaire and Uige are the most vulnerable to trafficking activities. Some Angolan boys are taken to Namibia for forced labour in cattle herding, while others are forced to serve as couriers to transport illicit goods, as part of a scheme to skirt import fees in cross-border trade with Namibia. Angolan women and children are subjected to domestic servitude and sex trafficking in South Africa, Namibia and European countries, including the Netherlands and Portugal. Chinese, Southeast Asian, Brazilian, Namibian, Kenyan and possibly Congolese migrants are subjected to forced labour in Angola’s construction industry. Chinese workers are brought to Angola by Chinese companies that have large construction or mining contracts; some companies do not disclose the terms and conditions of the work at the time of recruitment.
Undocumented Congolese migrants, including children, enter Angola for work in diamond-mining districts, where some endure forced labour or sex trafficking in mining camps. Trafficking networks recruit and transport Congolese girls as young as 12 years old from Kasai Occidental in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to Angola for labour and sex trafficking.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – A source, destination and possibly a transit country

Who is trafficked?
Men, women and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. The majority of trafficking is internal and, while much of it is perpetrated by armed groups and rogue elements of government forces incidents of trafficking likely occurred throughout all 11 provinces. Men and women working in unlicensed Congolese artisanal mines, many of whom began mining as children, are reported to be subjected to forced labour, including debt bondage, by mining bosses, other miners, family members, government officials, armed groups and government forces. Many miners are forced to continue working to pay off constantly accumulating debts for cash advances, tools, food and other provisions at undisclosed interest rates and some miners inherit the debt of deceased family members. Some Congolese women are forcibly prostituted in brothels or informal camps, including in markets, bars and bistros in mining areas. Congolese women and girls are subjected to forced marriage following kidnapping or rape or are sold by family members for a dowry or relief of a debt, after which they are highly vulnerable to domestic servitude or sex trafficking.
Where are they trafficked to?
Congolese women and children migrate to several countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, where some are exploited in sex trafficking, domestic servitude or forced labour in agriculture and diamond mines. Some members of Batwa or Pygmy groups are subjected to conditions of forced labour, most commonly in agriculture, but also in mining and domestic service in remote areas of the DRC. Children are engaged in forced and exploitative labour in small-scale agriculture, informal mining and other informal sectors throughout the country. Children are subjected to forced and exploitative labour in the illegal mining of diamonds, copper, gold, cobalt ore and tin, as well as the smuggling of minerals. Children living on the streets who engage in vending, portering and unloading trucks are vulnerable to forced labour, including being used for illicit drug transactions, and many of the girls are exploited in sex trafficking. Children in domestic service work long hours and some are subjected to sexual abuse and exploitation – conditions indicative of forced labour. Girls in the Bas-Congo province are coerced into prostitution by family members or transported to Angola for exploitation in the sex trade. Children from the Republic of the Congo may transit through the DRC en-route to Angola or South Africa, where they are subjected to domestic servitude.

Gabon  – A destination and transit country

Who is trafficked?
Some victims are transit via Gabon en-route to Equatorial Guinea. Boys are forced to work as street vendors, mechanics or in the fishing sector. Girls are subjected to domestic servitude and forced labour in markets or roadside restaurants. West African women are forced into domestic servitude or prostitution in Gabon. Girls are primarily trafficked for domestic servitude, forced market vending, forced restaurant labour and commercial sexual exploitation, while boys are trafficked for forced street hawking and forced labour in small workshops. Children reportedly are also trafficked to Gabon from other African countries for forced labour in agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing and mining. Boys are sold, coerced or kidnapped into military service in both government and rebel armies. Many of these child soldiers also flee their captors, especially during combat and end up homeless on the streets of major cities which leaves them vulnerable to gangs who run the street children.
Where are they trafficked to?
Some foreign adults seek the help of smugglers for voluntary labour migration to Gabon, but are subsequently subjected to forced labour or prostitution after arriving via plane or boat with falsified documents. Traffickers operate in ethnic-based criminal networks, at times involving female traffickers—some of whom are former trafficking victims—in the recruitment and transportation of victims from their countries of origin. Child victims report their families willingly gave them to intermediaries promising employment or education who instead subjected the children to trafficking. There is evidence some traffickers operate outside the capital to avoid detection by law enforcement.

Ghana – A source, transit and destination country

Who is trafficked?
Men, women and children are subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. The trafficking of Ghanaians, particularly children, within the country is more prevalent than the transnational trafficking of foreign migrants.
Ghanaian boys and girls are subjected to forced labour within the country in fishing, domestic service, street hawking, begging, portering, artisanal gold mining, quarrying, herding and agriculture. Ghanaian girls and to a lesser extent, boys are subjected to prostitution within Ghana. Child prostitution is prevalent in the Volta region.
Where are they trafficked to?
Ghanaian women and children are recruited and sent to West Africa, the Middle East and Europe for forced labour and sex trafficking. Young Ghanaian women are recruited with the promise of domestic or hospitality industry jobs in Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. Many of them reported being deceived, overworked, starved, abused, molested and/or forced into prostitution. Ghanaian men are also recruited under false pretences to the Middle East and subjected to forced labour in the domestic sector and forced into prostitution. In recent years a few Ghanaian men and women were identified as victims of forced labour in the United States. Women and girls voluntarily migrating from Vietnam, China and neighbouring West African countries are subjected to sex trafficking in Ghana.
Citizens from West African countries are subjected to forced labour in Ghana in agriculture or domestic service.
Ghana is a transit point for West Africans subjected to sex trafficking in Europe, especially Italy and Germany. Reports of corruption and bribery in the judicial system continued, stymieing anti-trafficking measures
Western African countries, mostly Ghana and the Ivory Coast, supply more than 70% of the world’s cocoa and children are trafficked for the harvest of the coco beans.

Cameroon A source, transit and destination country

Who is trafficked?
Women and children are subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking and a source country for men in forced labour.  Trafficking operations usually target two to four children, often when rural parents give their children to an intermediary promising education or a better life in the city. Child traffickers increasingly resort to kidnapping their victims, including in Yaoundé. Cameroonian children are exploited in domestic service, restaurants, street begging or vending, artisanal gold mining, gravel quarries, fishing, animal breeding and agriculture (on onion, cotton, tea and cocoa plantations), as well as in urban transportation and construction working as errand boys and labourers.
Where are they trafficked to?
Children from neighbouring countries are exploited in spare parts shops or by herders in northern Cameroon or transit the country en-route to Gabon or Equatorial Guinea. Many children are trafficked to the cocoa plantations. Cameroonian women are lured to Europe and other regions by fraudulent internet marriage proposals or offers of domestic work and subsequently become victims of forced labour or forced prostitution. Cameroonian trafficking victims have been identified in the Middle East, Haiti, the United States and several African countries. Teenagers and adults from the Central African Republic (CAR) and Nigeria are lured by the prospect of a better life in Cameroon and subsequently are victims of labour trafficking. Refugees from the CAR and Nigeria, as well as displaced Cameroonian citizens fleeing growing insecurity in border areas, are increasingly vulnerable to human trafficking in Cameroon.

Nigeria – A source, transit and destination country

Who is trafficked?
Trafficked Nigerian women and children are recruited from rural areas within the country’s borders − women and girls for involuntary domestic servitude and sexual exploitation. Boys for are trafficked for forced labour in street vending, domestic servitude, mining and begging. Nigeria’s Islamist group Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls. The girls have been sold some marrying their kidnappers and bearing their children. Slave markets have been established to sell women and children.
Where are they trafficked to?
Nigerian women and children are taken from Nigeria to other West and Central African countries, primarily Gabon, Cameroon, Ghana, Chad, Benin, Togo, Niger, Burkina Faso and the Gambia. Children from West African states like Benin, Togo and Ghana – where Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) rules allow for easy entry – are forced to work in Nigeria and some are subjected to hazardous jobs in Nigeria’s granite mines. Nigerian women and girls are taken to Europe, especially to Italy and Russia and to the Middle East and North Africa, for forced prostitution. Nigeria also has Cocoa plantations that trafficked children are made to work in. Nigerian girls arrive in Italy, they are taken to the sex market towns of Livorno, Torinto and Genova where they are sold to bosses or madams for as little as USD 20,000. Nigerian female migrants have been found begging in Algeria carrying children that are sometimes rented from their mothers in Niger. They have been now to become forced labour victims. Nigerien children are also forced to beg in Algeria.

Togo – A source and transit country

Who is trafficked?
Men, women and children are subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. The majority of Togolese victims are exploited within the country. Forced child labour occurs within the agricultural sector – particularly within coffee, cocoa and cotton farms – as well as in stone and sand quarries.
Where are they trafficked to?
Children from rural areas are brought to the capitalLome and forced to work as domestic servants, roadside vendors and porters or exploited in prostitution. The western border of the Plateau region, which provides easy access to major roads leading to Accra, Ghana and Lome, has been known to be a primary source for trafficking victims. Near the Togo-Burkina Faso border, some religious teachers, known as marabouts, forced Togolese boys into begging. Children from Benin and Ghana are recruited and transported to Togo for forced labour. Togolese girls and, to a lesser extent, boys are transported to Benin, Gabon, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and forced to work in agriculture. Traffickers exploit Togolese men for forced labour in agriculture and Togolese women as domestic servants in Nigeria. Togolese women are fraudulently recruited for employment in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, the United States and Europe, where they are subsequently subjected to domestic servitude or forced prostitution. Migration from the northern regions to cocoa and coffee plantations in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and – currently – the area around Notsé in Togo has also been significant in the increase of trafficked victims.

Cote D’Ivoire – A source, transit and destination country

Who is trafficked?
Women and children who are trafficked for sexual and Labour exploitation. Trafficking within the country’s borders is more prevalent, with victims primarily trafficked from the north of the country to the more economically prosperous south.
Where are they trafficked to?
Boys from Ghana, Mali and Burkina Faso are subjected to forced labour in the agricultural sector, including on cocoa, coffee, pineapple and rubber plantations. Boys from Ghana are forced to labour in the mining sector. Boys from Togo are forced to work in construction. Boys from Benin are forced to work in carpentry and construction. Girls are recruited from Ghana, Togo and Benin to work as domestic servants and as street vendors are often subjected to conditions of forced labour. Women and girls are also recruited from Ghana and Nigeria to work as waitresses in restaurants and bars and are subsequently subjected to forced prostitution. West African countries, mostly Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, supply more than 70% of the world’s cocoa and children are trafficked for the harvest of the coco beans.

Liberia – A source and destination country

Who is trafficked?
Men, women and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Most trafficking victims originate from and are exploited within the country’s borders, where they are subjected to domestic servitude, forced begging, sex trafficking or forced labour in street vending, alluvial diamond mines and on rubber plantations. Orphaned children remain susceptible to exploitation, including in street selling and prostitution.
Where are they trafficked to?
A small number of Liberian men, women and children are subjected to human trafficking in other West African countries, including Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Victims of transnational trafficking come to Liberia from neighbouring West African countries, including Sierra Leone, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria and are subjected to the same types of exploitation as internally trafficked victims. Women from Tunisia and Morocco have been subjected to sex trafficking in Liberia. Some women have been known to be subjected to forced labour in Lebanon. Bribery at border stations, capacity issues and generalised corruption within the judiciary continued to hamper trafficking investigations and prosecutions. Children have been recruited from Liberia to fight in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire and to Liberia from Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Liberian women are trafficked from rural to urban areas within the country and to London and Sierra Leone. Women are also trafficked from Eastern Europe to Liberia. Child trafficking for the purpose of child soldiering and sexual exploitation remains a major problem. Young child and baby trafficking in the form of inter-country adoption is another form of trafficking in Liberia.

Sierra Leone – A source and destination country

Who is trafficked?
Men, women and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Victims originate largely from rural provinces and are recruited to urban and mining centers for the purposes of exploitation in prostitution, domestic servitude and forced labour in artisanal diamond and granite mining, petty trading, portering, rock breaking, street crime and begging. Trafficking victims may also be found in the fishing and agricultural sectors or subjected to sex trafficking or forced labour through customary practices, such as forced or arranged marriages.
Where are they trafficked to?
Some Sierra Leoneans voluntarily migrate to other West African countries, including Mauritania and Guinea, as well as to the Middle East and Europe, where some are subjected to forced labour and forced prostitution. Children from neighbouring West African countries are exploited in forced begging, forced labour and prostitution. Indian, Sri Lankan and Chinese men have been subjected to forced labour within Sierra Leone. Women and children are known to be the principal war victims. Women and children are often submitted to rape, sexual slavery, forced labour, torture, mutilation and forced recruiting by the Revolutionary United Front with child soldiers ordered to sometimes kill their own families. Children have been trafficked to Liberia as forced conscripts. Children are trafficked to Europe, where they have been exploited through fictitious adoption schemes. Internally, children continue to be trafficked from rural areas to Freetown and to diamond mining areas for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labour.

Guinea-Bissau A source country for children

Who is trafficked?
Children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. The extent to which adults are subjected to forced labour or forced prostitution is unclear. Many Bissau-Guinean boys attend Koranic schools led by religious teachers, known as marabouts; some corrupt or unscrupulous marabouts force such boys into begging in Guinea Bissau. Guinea-Bissau is becoming a burgeoning refuge for thousands of children fleeing West Africa’s wars and therefore targets for traffickers.
Where are they trafficked to?
Some marabouts subsequently transport boys to Senegal or, to a lesser extent, Mali or Guinea, for the same purpose. The principal traffickers are men from the regions of Bafata and Gabu—often former students of the marabouts, known as talibes—who are generally well-known within the communities in which they operate. Bissau-Guinean boys are subjected to forced labour in street vending in Guinea-Bissau and in manual labour in the agriculture sector and mining in Senegal. Bissau-Guinean girls are subjected to forced labour in street vending and domestic servitude in Guinea and Senegal; a smaller number may be subjected to child prostitution in these countries. Women have been trafficked to Europe for sexual exploitation and the sale of children into neighbouring countries for work or prostitution.

Mali – A source, transit and destination country

Who is trafficked?
Men, women and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Internal trafficking is more prevalent than transnational trafficking. Women and girls are forced into domestic servitude, agricultural labour and support roles in artisanal gold mines and subjected to sex trafficking. Boys are subjected to forced labour in agriculture, artisanal gold mines and the informal commercial sector. Men and boys, primarily of Songhai ethnicity, are subjected to debt bondage in the salt mines of Taoudenni in northern Mali. Some members of Mali’s black Tamachek community are subjected to slavery-related practices rooted in traditional relationships of hereditary servitude. Boys from Mali and other West African countries are forced into begging and other types of forced labour or service by corrupt marabouts (religious teachers) within Mali and neighbouring countries.
Where are they trafficked to?
Reports indicate Malian children endure forced labour in gold mines in Senegal and Guinea and on cotton and cocoa farms in Cote d’Ivoire. Malians and other Africans transiting Mali to Mauritania, Algeria or Libya to reach Europe are vulnerable to trafficking. Malian girls and women are victims of sex trafficking in Gabon, Libya, Lebanon and Tunisia. Reports allege general corruption is pervasive throughout the security forces and judiciary. Slave traders are trafficking boys ranging from the age of 12 to 16 from their home countries and are selling them to cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire. Women are trafficked to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to work as domestic servants and domestic servants for wealthy people in Guinea. Children from the areas of Mopti, Ségou and Sikasso are trafficked to Côte d’Ivoire to work on cotton plantations. Most children are recruited by intermediaries and sold to plantation owners; others are sent through family networks to work on plantations. UNICEF estimates that more than 15,000 Malian children work in Ivorian plantations. These children work in slave like conditions and receive little if any wages for their labour.

Mauritania – A source and destination country

Who is trafficked?
Men, women and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Adults and children from traditional slave castes in the Black Moor and Afro-Mauritanian communities are subjected to hereditary slavery-related practices rooted in ancestral master-slave relationships. International experts agree hereditary slavery continues to affect a significant portion of the country’s population, in both rural and urban settings. Held for generations by slave-holding families, persons subjected to hereditary slavery are forced to work without pay as cattle herders and domestic servants.
Where are they trafficked to?
Boys from low-income families in the Halpulaar community are most vulnerable to forced begging by unethical imams. Approximately 41 percent of Mauritanian children lack birth certificates and are thus generally not permitted to enrol in school, which increases their risk for trafficking. Mauritanian women and girls—especially those from the traditional slave castes and Afro-Mauritanian communities, as well as women and girls from Mali, Senegal, The Gambia and other West African countries—are forced into domestic servitude in Mauritania. Mauritanian women and girls are subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking abroad, predominantly in Saudi Arabia after having been fraudulently recruited for nursing and teaching jobs by Mauritanian middlemen working for Saudi recruitment agencies. Men from Middle Eastern and North African countries use legally contracted temporary marriages to sexually exploit Mauritanian women and girls. Mauritanian women and girls from poor families enter into these forced marriages, facilitated by brokers and travel agencies in both Mauritania and in the Middle East promising substantial payment and are exploited as sex slaves in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. Mauritanian children may also be trafficked for forced agricultural and construction labour, herding and for forced labour in the fishing industry within the country.

Central Africa

Burundi – A source and destination country

Who is Trafficked?
Men, women and children are trafficked. Children and young adults are coerced into forced labour on plantations or small farms in southern Burundi, small-scale menial labour in gold mines in Cibitoke, labour-intensive tasks such as collecting river stones for construction in Bujumbura or informal commerce in the streets of larger cities. Family members, neighbours or friends have been known to recruit them for forced labour under the pretext of assisting with education or employment opportunities. Some families are complicit in the exploitation of children and adults with disabilities, accepting payment from traffickers who run forced street begging operations. Children in domestic servitude in private homes or working in guest houses and other entertainment establishments are coerced – with threats of being fired – into committing sex acts for their employers or clients. Male tourists from Oman and the United Arab Emirates exploit Burundian girls in prostitution.
Where are they Trafficked to?
Business people recruit Burundian girls for commercial sexual exploitation in Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda. Boys and girls are recruited for exploitation in various types of forced labour in Tanzania.

Republic of Congo – A source, destination and possibly a transit country

Who is trafficked?
Men, women and children are subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. The majority of trafficking is internal and, while much of it is perpetrated by armed groups and rogue elements of government forces outside official control in the country’s unstable eastern provinces, incidents of trafficking likely occurred throughout all 11 provinces. Men and women working in unlicensed Congolese artisanal mines, many of whom began mining as children, are reported to be subjected to forced labour, including debt bondage, by mining bosses, other miners, family members, government officials, armed groups and government forces. Many miners are forced to continue working to pay off constantly accumulating debts for cash advances, tools, food and other provisions at undisclosed interest rates and some miners inherit the debt of deceased family members. Some Congolese women are forcibly prostituted in brothels or informal camps, including in markets, bars and bistros in mining areas, by loosely organized networks, gangs and brothel operators. Congolese women and girls are subjected to forced marriage following kidnapping or rape or are sold by family members for a dowry or relief of a debt, after which they are highly vulnerable to domestic servitude or sex trafficking.
Where are they trafficked to?
Congolese women and children migrate to several countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, where some are exploited in sex trafficking, domestic servitude or forced labour in agriculture and diamond mines. Some members of Batwa or Pygmy groups, are subjected to conditions of forced labour, most commonly in agriculture, but also in mining and domestic service in remote areas of the DRC. Some Angolans enter the DRC illegally to work in Bas-Congo province and are vulnerable to forced labour. Children are engaged in forced and exploitative labour within illegal mining of diamonds, copper, gold, cobalt ore and tin, as well as the smuggling of minerals. Children living on the streets who engage in vending, portering and unloading trucks are vulnerable to forced labour, including being used for illicit drug transactions and many of the girls are exploited in sex trafficking. Homeless children known as chegues, acting as beggars and thieves on the streets of Kinshasa, are often controlled by a third party. Children in domestic service work long hours and some are subjected to sexual abuse and exploitation. Girls in Bas-Congo province are coerced into prostitution by family members or transported to Angola for exploitation in the sex trade. Children from the Republic of the Congo may transit through the DRC en route to Angola or South Africa, where they are subjected to domestic servitude. Child soldiers and women are sometimes kept as sex slaves for military factions.

Uganda – A source and destination country

Who is trafficked?
Ugandan children as young as seven are exploited in forced labour within the country. Forced child labour occurs in agriculture, cattle herding, mining, stone quarrying, brick making, car washing, scrap metal collection, bars, restaurants and the domestic service sector. Girls and boys are also exploited in prostitution.
Where are they trafficked to?
Women are trafficked to India, Afghanistan, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates. Ugandan trafficking victims have been identified in the United Kingdom, Greece, Poland, Iraq, Egypt, Qatar, South Sudan, Kenya, China, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and the United States. Four Ugandan men were taken to China, where they were forced into prostitution. A Ugandan was arrested in Spain in 2012 for allegedly trafficking Nigerian women into forced prostitution.

Zambia A source, transit and destination country

Who is trafficked?
Men, women and children are subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Most trafficking occurs within the country’s borders and involves women and children from rural areas exploited in cities in domestic servitude or other types of forced labour in agriculture, textile, mining, construction, small businesses such as bakeries and forced begging.
Where are they trafficked to?
Zambian children may be forced by jerabo gangs engaged in illegal mining to load stolen copper ore onto trucks in Copperbelt Province. While orphans and street children are most vulnerable, children of affluent village families are also at risk of trafficking. Zambian boys and girls are exploited in sex trafficking by truck drivers in towns along the Zimbabwean and Tanzanian borders and by miners in the mining town of Solwezi. Zambian boys are subjected to sex trafficking in Zimbabwe and women and girls are subjected to sex trafficking in South Africa. Domestically, extended families and trusted family acquaintances continued to facilitate trafficking. Women and children from neighbouring countries are exploited in forced labour or sex trafficking after arrival in Zambia. Nationals from South and East Asia are exploited in forced labour in textile factories, bakeries and Chinese-owned mines. Chinese traffickers have brought in Chinese women and underage girls for sexual exploitation in brothels and massage parlours in Lusaka; traffickers used front companies posing as travel agencies to lure Chinese victims and coordinated with Zambian facilitators and middlemen. The transnational labour trafficking of Southeast Asians through Zambia for forced labour in construction in South Africa continues.

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