U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Togo
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||3 June 2005|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Togo, 3 June 2005, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d86bc.html [accessed 14 July 2014]|
Togo (Tier 3)
Togo is a country of origin and transit for children trafficked for the purposes of forced domestic labor and sexual exploitation. There are no exact numbers on the trafficking situation in Togo; however, experts believe that Togo is a major country of destination for children trafficked from rural towns to Lome for exploitation as domestic servants, produce porters, roadside sellers, and prostitutes.
The government does not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and it is not making significant efforts to do so. Togo does not have a law specifically preventing trafficking, and badly needed anti-trafficking legislation has remained stalled in Togo's Executive Branch since 2002. Togo adopted a national plan in 2001 for the fight against child trafficking, which called for establishment of anti-trafficking legislation, training, and border control. However, little has been done in the actual implementation of this plan, and law enforcement efforts seem to have been stymied over the past year. In order to increase its anti-trafficking efforts, the Government of Togo should recognize trafficking as a problem in the country, establish it as a federal offense, and prosecute it accordingly. The government should also increase regional cooperation on trafficking-related matters and continue efforts with regional committees to combat trafficking in the country.
Togo displayed little discernable anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. The government reported no investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of trafficking-related crimes over the last year. As a draft anti-trafficking law continues to lag in the Executive Branch, Togo has no specific anti-trafficking law. However, the government could use existing criminal statutes against child labor and sexual exploitation to prosecute some aspects of trafficking crimes. The police reportedly established an anti-trafficking task force to coordinate and respond to trafficking-related matters, but has made no reported progress to prosecute and convict traffickers. For instance, the police made 61 trafficking-related arrests, but none resulted in a prosecution or conviction. The government signed bilateral and multilateral agreements with Ghana, Benin, and Nigeria to monitor, control, and prevent trafficking in persons, and it cooperates with these countries on the return of trafficked children. There were no statistics available on the number of extraditions of traffickers; however, the government's National Committee for the Reception and Social Reinsertion of Trafficked Children reported 2,458 repatriated children between 2002 and 2004. Corruption remains a problem in the country, though there were no reported investigations or prosecutions of public officials for complicity in trafficking.
The government does not provide any significant protection or aid to victims of trafficking, due in large part to the serious lack of resources in the country. Thus, the government does not fund specific trafficking-related shelters or centers that may aid victims; however, it does closely coordinate and collaborate with NGOs for victim care and assistance. In some limited cases, the government is able to provide temporary shelter, and access to legal, medical, and psychological services before turning victims over to NGOs. The government relies heavily on international aid and works to find areas where it may collaborate on trafficking-related protection services. Victims are not treated as criminals. A degree of police and customs training on how and where to refer trafficking victims to appropriate NGOs has been provided through regional and local committees.
Senior government officials have publicly acknowledged the presence of trafficking in Togo; however, lack of resources severely inhibits the government's ability to carry out a long-term sustainable prevention campaign. The government established five regional committees to coordinate with local and international organizations on trafficking-related matters. These regional and local committees organized tours in their respective region to sensitize the populations on child trafficking and the dangers of trafficking, targeting taxi drivers, student-parent associations, and school inspectors. To date, there have been 234 such campaigns. Village Development Committees and other Local Committees working on anti-trafficking measures received some limited training on the rights of children. The Ministry of Interior and Security organized awareness campaigns for district governors and security forces, which included information on the methods used by traffickers.