Title

Child trafficking in Togo, West Africa : how to understand a culturally accepted practice

Publication Date

1-1-2006

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Ralph Meima

Abstract

Child trafficking is a global phenomenon that is discussed by governments, non-governmental organizations, and international organizations. All of these bodies are involved in developing anti-trafficking campaigns to aid in reducing the number of children trafficked every year. This paper discusses the situation regarding child trafficking in Togo, West Africa and investigates why existing projects are not currently successful. The author uses the information from interviews conducted in the field combined with document research to formulate a theory regarding child trafficking projects in Togo. The study includes 34 interviews, taken from the three regions in Togo known to have high incidences of trafficking. The research also includes information from numerous documents published by national and international organizations. The paper concludes that despite the large number of anti-trafficking projects present in Togo, the incidence of trafficking is not diminishing due to the fact that the projects do not address the issues that are relevant to solving the problem. Factors that need to be addressed include community sensitization techniques, the provision of immediate alternatives for potential victims, the taking into consideration of the role the traffickers in society, and the unwillingness to enforce international law. Practical applicability of this paper includes any organizations interested in commencing or modifying anti-trafficking campaigns in Togo or West Africa, or organizations and individuals seeking to gain a fuller comprehension of the situation regarding child trafficking in West Africa.

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