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AFRICA: High cost of child trafficking

A child miner in Lagos, Nigeria. Photo: ILO.

From IRIN News: “Forced child labour remains rampant in Central Africa, where poverty fuels the trafficking of children from poorer countries to oil-rich states such as Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo, according to experts.

“Trafficking in children is real,” said Gabon’s social affairs director-general, Mélanie Mbadinga Matsanga. “Gabon, for example, is considered an Eldorado and draws a lot of West African immigrants who traffic children.”

Matsanga was speaking at a conference on preventing child trafficking held in Congo’s southern city of Pointe Noire. The meeting was attended by delegates from Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

Gabon is primarily a destination and transit country for children and women, who are subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking; boys are forced to work as street hawkers or mechanics, states the US State Department’s human trafficking report for 2011…”

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