U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Togo
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||5 June 2006|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Togo, 5 June 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d8b55d.html [accessed 21 October 2014]|
Togo (Tier 2 Watch List)
Togo is a source, transit, and destination country for children, women, and men trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. The majority of victims are children, and trafficking within the country is more prevalent than international trafficking. Children are trafficked within Togo, and to Gabon, Benin, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Niger, Cote D'Ivoire, Lebanon, and Europe to work as domestic servants, produce porters, roadside sellers, agricultural laborers, and for sexual exploitation. Togolese women may be trafficked to Europe for forced labor and sexual exploitation.
The Government of Togo does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Togo is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for failure to show evidence of increased efforts to combat trafficking over the past year, particularly in the areas of prosecution and protection. The government failed to convict any persons for trafficking offenses during the year. For the first time, however, the government passed legislation in 2005 prohibiting child trafficking. To improve its response to trafficking, Togo should increase prosecution and protection efforts and improve inter-ministerial cooperation to combat trafficking.
The Government of Togo has taken initial steps to combat trafficking through law enforcement over the last year despite resource constraints. Inconsistencies in the 2005 anti-child trafficking law have made implementation and prosecution difficult. However, a draft Child Code with an improved law is pending adoption, as is a comprehensive law criminalizing all forms of trafficking in all persons. The government filed complaints against 16 traffickers who are awaiting prosecution. Togo signed a multilateral anti-trafficking agreement with nine other West African countries in July 2005.
The Togolese Government continued to provide limited protection to victims during the reporting period. The government provides initial, temporary shelter and psychological and social services to victims, although it does not operate its own shelters. Police, ministry officials, and regional anti-trafficking committees refer victims to NGOs and international organizations for care. The National Committee for the Reception and Reinsertion of Trafficked Children continued to assist NGOs and international organizations to reunify victims with their families. The government contributed $4,000 to an NGO shelter in 2005. During and following "Operation Rescue" – a raid of a Lome market where children are sexually exploited – the government inadvertently violated victim rights and provided inadequate victim care by returning detained children, including possible trafficking victims, to the market after brief detention. The government failed to educate these victims' families about trafficking or to provide follow-up care or monitoring.
Togo continued to make modest efforts to educate the public about trafficking. Regional and local committees organized by the government, and with government participation, have played a significant role in raising awareness about trafficking and identifying potential victims. Although Togo's new child trafficking statute mandates the formation of a National Commission Against Child Trafficking, the government has not issued the decree necessary to establish this body. The government lacks adequate inter-ministerial coordination to combat trafficking. The government media ran several articles about the new anti-trafficking law and, in collaboration with NGOs, aired a television documentary on trafficking. The government also collaborated with NGOs, regional committees, and international organizations to educate union and employer organizations, school associations, students, and journalists about trafficking.