Free Custom «Humans Trafficking in Togo» Essay Paper

Free Custom «Humans Trafficking in Togo» Essay Paper


Today people are living in the era of democracy, global informational exchange, and great attention to human rights in general. However, these notions do not help to solve the problem of human trafficking in the modern world. Human trafficking is claimed to be a modern form of slavery. Moreover, it is one of the grave violation of human rights and one of the most serious crimes against humanity altogether (“Human Trafficking”). Many developing countries face the problem; however, human rights activists observe human trafficking business flourishing in many developed countries as well. Historically, Africa has long been a source country of male and female slaves mainly due to the ineffectiveness of the laws. So, it appears that this issue has always existed in Togo: earlier it was called slavery, today it is known as human trafficking. For instance, not many criminals who had been involved in human trafficking were caught and imprisoned. The major purposes of human trafficking are sexual exploitation, slavery, forced labor, prostitution and the removal of organs (Shu-Acquaye). The purpose of this paper is to present a brief overview of the human trafficking in Togo, the factors contributing to the crimes flourishing, purposes of children and women trafficking and preventive measures and recommendations analysis.

Laws on Human Trafficking in African Countries

African countries have become the first and the main platform of human trafficking in the recent years. Here the laws which are related to human trafficking are on the developmental stage and, thus, are inapplicable. Besides, some African countries do not have laws on human trafficking at all. According to Shu-Acquaye, some African states, namely Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Gambia have only recently passed laws related to human trafficking; while such countries as Chad, Niger and Cote d’Ivoire do not have specific legislature to deal with the crimes related to human trafficking. However, it is not only absence of specific laws that contribute to the human trafficking flourishing in Togo and many other African countries. There are a number of factors which prompt African states to be a favorable place for this crime thriving. In particular, these factors include poverty, culture peculiarities, lack of educational and economic opportunities, low ethical and aesthetic standards to name a few (Shu-Acquaye).

Human Trafficking in Togo

Togo is one of the leading countries where human trafficking is thriving, being mostly a source and transit country and rarely a destination country (“2016 Trafficking in Person Report”). The main aims of men, women and children trafficking are labor and sex exploitation. The statistical data shows that the major part of victims are children. According to Lawrence and Roberts, the Togolese girls as young as 7 years were trafficked for child labor and transported to Gabon, Ghana, and Nigeria (229). Similarly, young boys of Togo were trafficked and sent to the neighboring countries such as Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo and Cote d’Ivoire to work in agricultural sector (“2016 Trafficking in Person Report”). Economic and political instability of Togo only exacerbate the problem of human trafficking because there are no minimal standards and/or laws to regulate the crimes related to the problem in the country (Lawrence and Roberts 231). People living in such African countries as Togo can only hope to get help from NGOs and programs sponsored by wealthy foreign countries. The Togolese government has neither enough political power nor economic possibilities to solve the issue of human trafficking in the country. Hence, international grant programs and activities of NGOs remain the main ways to fight the problem of human trafficking.

Child Trafficking

Since child trafficking is a serious problem in Togo, it should be discussed separately. In fact, crimes against children are crimes against humanity. Many reports of Human Rights Watch reveal stories of trafficked children. In general, trafficking networks of Africa involved thousands of children in 2003 (Lawrence and Richards 163). Moreover, hundreds of Togolese children are trafficked to be used for various purposes within African countries and even beyond the African continent.

Thus, according to the information revealed in Human Rights Watch Report from 2003 year, situation in Togo is a bright example of child trafficking in the modern world (“Borderline Slavery”). The compelling facts show that children are trafficked for various purposes, in particular for a child labor and sex exploitation (Shu-Acquaye). Even though the government of Togo informed of numerous search, trial and conviction cases for child trafficking crimes in 2015 compared to the previous years, the complete information regarding these cases was not provided (“2016 Trafficking in Person Report”). However, the number of incidents of trafficking has not decreased since then and the government still needs to take serious measures to deal with human trafficking crimes in Togo.

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The young boys and girls of Togo are trafficked and sent to other countries to later work on agricultural plantations or be involved in sex exploitation. Many of these young people have been caught by false promises to receive education or specialized training and paid job. Moreover, some of them have been put in danger conditions, exploited, or physical and mentally abused. However, even those who managed to escape have not received social reintegration help. In addition, many cases of child deaths have been reported (“Borderline Slavery”). Above all, the most disturbing is the fact that in some child trafficking cases their parents were involved. They receive money for handing their children to traffickers. Therefore, the crimes of this category demand a different approach and assiduous attention from governments, policy makers, NGOs. Children are individuals with different stages of psychological and physical development and thus are a vulnerable category of victims.

Women Trafficking

Similarly to child trafficking, women trafficking is flourishing in many African countries including Togo. Although the slave trading stopped in the previous century, the interest in servile women did not decrease (Lawrence and Roberts 2). Despite the fact the Togolese government claims to have taken measures against human trafficking criminals, thousands of young women become victims yearly. However, even those who managed to escape such cruel destiny are later disgraced by their own communities or are forced to work for meager amount of money (Labous). Most of the women that are trafficked nowadays are forced to sex services or prostitution.

Furthermore, the majority of trafficked women get into forced labor or sex exploitation with the assistance of their friends or family members (“Borderline Slavery”). It is reported that approximately 2000 young women are trafficked in Togo every year (Labous). Often the criminals who are directly involved in trafficking or simply assist in finding the women, catch their victims offering false employment opportunities within the country or abroad. Later, these women are forced to prostitution in brothels, kept locked under the surveillance of guards. Moreover, many women report being verbally and physically abused by their so-called employers (Shu-Acquaye). In most cases, their luck remains the only possibility to escape.

The undeniable statistical data of human trafficking in Togo indicates that the modern form of slavery is flourishing. In addition, from the number of children trafficked within Togo every year 67 percent are girls (Labous). However, low moral norms and poverty induce many people to offer their female relatives and even children to be sold to traffickers for a particular price. Thus, being in such cultural and economic conditions women as well as children and men are destined to modern forms of slavery, namely forced labor, prostitution, servitude and others.

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Preventive Measures and Recommendations for Togo

Without international intrusion of human rights activists and NGOs the government of Togo seems to be too weak to face and fight with human trafficking criminals. According to Labouse, in 2005 the Togolese government ratified the law criminalizing human trafficking. However, single law authorization has not made much change to the situation in the country. Thus, there is a need in drastic measures on different levels and different spheres of society of Togo. For instance, to prevent these crimes the government needs to allocate necessary funds as well as start a campaign directed towards raising public awareness about dangers of child and adult trafficking (“2016 Trafficking in Person Report”). Therefore, different state bodies, namely law enforcement, immigration service, and social welfare officials should communicate and cooperate to identify victims and criminals involved in human trafficking.

Furthermore, the scope and magnitude of the human trafficking crimes in Togo has escalated to such a level that the country cannot combat it alone. Thus, the United Nations Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) was launched in 2007 to help countries like Togo fight against the crimes related to human trafficking. The UN.GIFT developed two programs for Africa – one for Togo and one for Rwanda (Shu-Acquaye). The international concern and help is what countries like Togo need. Thus, the local government and state bodies need to cooperate with international services and organizations since only through collaboration and communication success can be guaranteed.

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However, the currently Togolese government’s efforts in combating human trafficking in the country are minimal. According to “2016 Trafficking in Person Report,” the number of inspectors who investigate the cases of child trafficking increased only by 23. However, these inspectors are reported to be uncooperative with inspectors of NGO. Unfortunately, they “often did not address even obvious cases of child labor” in urban areas (“2016 Trafficking in Person Report”). Therefore, the recommendations mostly concern the government and the state bodies who are rather passive addressing the issue of human trafficking in the country. In spite of international concern and assistance, the local bodies seem to be obstacles to minimizing and fighting the trafficking criminals. No anti-trafficking training or instructions have yet been provided.


People of Togo and of many other countries of the African continent keep suffering from modern form of slavery, namely human trafficking crimes. Even though international human rights activists and NGOs are highly concerned with the situation in Togo, the government and local state bodies seem to be passive and indifferent to the sufferings of Togolese children and women sold by their relatives into forced labor, servitude, prostitution and sexual exploitation. However, there is a number of reasons explaining the situation in Togo, for example, poverty, low moral norms, lack of education, lack of government and law enforcement activity.

Since the human trafficking issues of the twenty first century are not new, but rather have a deep root in previous slavery trade, the NGOs, human rights activists and criminologists should consider this fact while developing combating and preventive policies and measures. Thus, to fight human trafficking, the society of Togo needs total transformation of social norms, economy, and state and regional laws and policies. Therefore, if the local communities accept women and child trafficking as the normal social order, even government measures and laws will be unable to stop human traffickers. The Togolese society needs government measures, as well as educational programs, that will show Togolese people dangers of the human trafficking. Consequently, selling a child or a relative for labor purposes should not look as a norm of marketing but as a crime since it has been internationally acknowledged.



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