Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 08:56 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2004 Trafficking in Persons Report - Burkina Faso

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 14 June 2004
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2004 Trafficking in Persons Report - Burkina Faso, 14 June 2004, available at: [accessed 27 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 the purposes of domestic and commercial labor. Some Burkinabe women are forced into prostitution after they have arrived in Europe anticipating work as domestic servants. Burkinabe children are trafficked throughout the country and to Cote D'Ivoire, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, and Mali. Burkina Faso is a transit country for children trafficked from Mali and a destination country for children trafficked from Benin and Togo. Boys trafficked into and within Burkina are employed as forced agricultural laborers, domestics, metal workers, wood workers, and miners; girls typically work as domestics and vendors, though coerced or forced prostitution also occurs. Children trafficked to or within Burkina Faso are subject to violence, sexual abuse and forced prostitution, and are deprived of food, shelter, schooling, and medical care.

The Government of Burkina Faso does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government should intensify efforts to provide protection and assistance to trafficking victims. It should also increase the number of investigations and prosecutions of suspected traffickers.


The Burkinabe Government took modest steps in 2003 to improve its prosecution of traffickers. In May 2003, the National Assembly adopted anti-trafficking legislation that prohibits child trafficking and imposes substantial fines and prison sentences of up to 10 years. In 2003, 17 child traffickers were arrested and prosecuted under a previous law. Two received a six-month suspended sentence; the remaining defendants were released for lack of evidence. There have been no prosecutions under the new trafficking law. The Ministry of Social Action and National Solidarity reported that 644 trafficked children were intercepted by regional surveillance committees and security forces in 2003; 620 were Burkinabe and 24 were from other countries. A committee comprised of government ministries and NGOs has drafted a national trafficking action plan that remains under consideration. In January 2004, the Ministry of Social Action published a report on its trafficking efforts during the period 2000-2003. The government is negotiating with the Government of Mali to sign a cooperation agreement to address trans-border child trafficking.


The government's efforts to protect trafficking victims over the reporting period were inadequate. The government has established two centers to help with the social reintegration of at-risk children. Only one of the centers has adequate facilities and resources. Five transit centers for trafficked children were established in cooperation with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), serving 644 children in 2003. Vigilance and Surveillance Committees in 11 regions disbursed small amounts of micro-credit for mothers of trafficked children. The government negotiated an agreement with the IOM and UNICEF to repatriate children from other countries.


Together with the United States, the government sponsored a 12-month project to train Burkinabe law enforcement officials in all 13 regions to identify and interdict trafficking in persons cases. In 2003, the Ministry of Social Action sponsored a program to establish Vigilance and Surveillance Committees to combat child trafficking in problem regions. Each committee is comprised of members from regional government, security forces, transportation companies, and the agricultural sector. Members receive training on the nature and risks of trafficking, and means to identify trafficking when it occurs. The government's media outlets broadcasted anti-trafficking and child labor programs, often in collaboration with NGOs.

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