Last Updated: Friday, 27 May 2016, 08:49 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Burkina Faso

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 11 June 2003
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Burkina Faso, 11 June 2003, available at: [accessed 29 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Burkina Faso (Tier 2)

Burkina Faso is a source, transit, and destination country for children trafficked for forced labor within West Africa and, to a much lesser extent, a source and transit country for women trafficked to Europe for sexual exploitation. There are traditional regional patterns of poverty-driven mass migration of children for work in the mining, crafts, and agricultural sectors and as domestics. Intermediaries often take advantage of these patterns to trick parents into selling their children, who are then subjected to harsh labor conditions and sometimes abuse. Instability in neighboring Cote D'Ivoire is changing migration patterns, but the degree and direction of those changes are unclear as of now.

The Government of Burkina Faso does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severe resource constraints. The government should impose stiffer penalties on traffickers and take steps to curb corruption among border officials.


In 2002 the government's national task force established rural vigilance and surveillance committees in five regions. In conjunction with NGOs, the government continues to support public awareness campaigns, holding training seminars for soldiers and customs agents on trafficking in persons. The government allots one quarter of its budget to education, and makes a particular effort to educate girls. Burkina Faso is one of the West African countries participating in an international program to reduce trafficking in children and a regional action plan to combat trafficking.


Burkina Faso currently has no law against trafficking. An anti-child-trafficking bill is before the National Assembly and was developed in cooperation with international organizations and NGOs. Labor laws and laws against slavery, kidnapping, and violence against children are used to prosecute traffickers. In 2002, two traffickers from Benin were convicted using the kidnapping laws, and sentenced to six months in prison. The government has worked with Cote D'Ivoire on 30 trafficking cases. In 2001, according to the most currently available statistics, the government investigated 23 cases of commercial sexual exploitation of children. It trained border control personnel on trafficking issues and negotiated cross-border agreements with neighboring countries, such as Cote D'Ivoire, Benin, Togo, and Niger, to combat trans-border trafficking through tighter documentation of minors.


The Ministry of Social Action and Solidarity assists regularly in the repatriation and re-integration of victims, and maintains two shelters and five transit centers for trafficking victims, mainly children, with staff trained to identify trafficking situations and assist victims. In conjunction with an international organization, the government's shelters assisted 299 children in 2002. In January 2003, the government established a project to provide trafficked children and their parents with micro-credit loans and apprenticeships.

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