Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 December 2014, 20:05 GMT

2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Togo

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 27 August 2008
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Togo, 27 August 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48caa493c.html [accessed 18 December 2014]
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.

Selected Statistics and Indicators on Child Labor3342
Working children, 5-14 years (%), 2006:32.7
Working boys, 5-14 years (%), 2006:33.7
Working girls, 5-14 years (%), 2006:31.6
Working children by sector, 5-14 years (%), 2006:
     – Agriculture83.0
     – Manufacturing1.2
     – Services15.1
     – Other0.6
Minimum age for work:15
Compulsory education age:15
Free public education:Yes*
Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:99
Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:78
School attendance, children 5-14 years (%), 2006:72.4
Survival rate to grade 5 (%), 2004:75
ILO-IPEC participating country:Yes
* Must pay for miscellaneous school expenses.

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In Togo, children work in urban and rural areas, particularly in family-based farming, small-scale trading, domestic work, and in factories. Working children may be as young as 5 years old and typically do not attend school for most of the year.3343 Children are also engaged in prostitution and in the sex tourism industry.3344

Togo is a country of origin, destination, and transit for children trafficked for forced labor, including in domestic service and commercial sexual exploitation. The regions most affected by internal trafficking include the regions of Maritime, West, Central, and Kara.3345 Four routes for child trafficking in Togo have been documented: (1) trafficking of Togolese girls for domestic and market labor in Gabon, Benin, Niger, and Nigeria, as well as for prostitution in Nigeria; (2) trafficking of girls within the country, particularly to the capital city, Lomé, often for domestic or market labor; (3) trafficking of girls from Benin, Nigeria, and Ghana to Lomé; and (4) trafficking of boys for labor exploitation, usually in agriculture, in Nigeria, Benin, and Côte d'Ivoire.3346 There are also reports of children trafficked to Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, and Saudi Arabia.3347 Some parents, misled by false information, send their children abroad with traffickers; other parents sell their children to traffickers.3348

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The minimum age for employment in any enterprise is 15 years.3349 For certain industrial and technical employment, 18 years is the minimum age for entry.3350 The law prohibits children under 18 years from working at night and requires a daily rest period of at least 12 consecutive hours for all working children.3351 The fine for noncompliance is increased for repeat offenders, who may also be sentenced to up to one month of imprisonment.3352

The Government of Togo adopted the Child Code on July 6, 2007, which clarifies terms used in the 2005 anti-trafficking law and addresses worst forms of child labor.3353 The law defines the worst forms of child labor to include slavery or similar practices, indebted servitude, forced or bonded labor, and the use of children in hostilities. Any work whose nature is detrimental to the health, security, or morals of a child is also forbidden.3354 The procurement of children for prostitution, including the use of children in sexual tourism and the use of children for the production of pornographic materials, is prohibited. These crimes are subject to fines and punishments of imprisonment, with sentences from 1 to 10 years, depending on the age of the child.3355 Togolese law also makes it illegal to use children to engage in illicit activities, such as the production and trafficking of drugs.3356 The law punishes child traffickers and their accomplices up to 10 years imprisonment and fines.3357 The minimum age for military recruitment is 18 years.3358

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Promotion of Women is the agency responsible for enforcing prohibitions on the worst forms of child labor. Ministry of Labor inspectors are responsible for enforcing the minimum age for employment, but only enforced these age restrictions in the urban formal sector. USDOS reports that the Government of Togo did not effectively enforce child labor laws due to limited resources.3359 Several government ministries are involved in antitrafficking efforts, including the Ministries of Justice, Labor, and Health. The Government of Togo has cooperated with the Governments of Benin, Ghana, and Nigeria to expedite the extradition of traffickers among those countries.3360

Togo was 1 of 24 countries to adopt the Multilateral Cooperation Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons and the Joint Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, in West and Central African Regions.3361 As part of the Multilateral Cooperation Agreement, the governments agreed to use the child trafficking monitoring system developed by the USDOL-funded ILO-IPEC LUTRENA project; to assist each other in the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of trafficking offenders; and to protect, rehabilitate, and reintegrate trafficking victims.3362

Current Government Policies and Programs to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The Government has a National Plan of Action on child abuse, child labor, and child trafficking that includes activities such as awareness-raising campaigns and training workshops, and establishes community structures for prevention and reintegration of child trafficking victims.3363

The Ministry of Social Action, the Promotion of Women and the Protection of Children and Aged Persons spearheads the Government's anti-trafficking efforts. This ministry, working in conjunction with the Ministry of Labor, led awareness-raising campaigns throughout Togo in 2007.3364 There is also a National Committee for the Reception and Social Reinsertion of Trafficked Children that serves to coordinate statistics on child trafficking. The committee worked with local officials this year to repatriate 58 trafficked children.3365

In 2007, Togo established five regional committees, charged with coordinating activities related to trafficking between local and international organizations.3366 Working with the ILO, the ministries of education, interior and social affairs established approximately 300 anti-trafficking committees.3367 The Government, through the Office of the Director General for the Protection of Children, also worked with UNICEF to train local officials such as police, gendarmes, military, and customs officers on investigating child trafficking and enforcing the law.3368

The Government of Togo is participating in a 4-year USDOL-funded USD 5 million ILO-IPEC project designed to combat exploitive child labor. This project, launched in 2007, aims to withdraw 4,000 children and prevent 6,000 children from exploitive child labor in urban informal sectors, domestic servitude, hazardous rural agriculture, and in commercial sexual exploitation.3369

In 2007, the Government also participated in the Combating Trafficking in Children for Labor Exploitation in West and Central Africa, Phases 1 & 2 (LUTRENA) regional project, funded by USDOL at USD 9.28 million and implemented by ILO-IPEC, to combat the trafficking of children for exploitive labor. During Phase II, from July 2001 to December 2007 (when the project ended) the project withdrew 4,240 children and prevented 7,213 children from trafficking in the region.3370

The Government of Togo also collaborated on a USD 3.6 million ILO-IPEC regional project to eliminate child labor, funded by France and ending in 2007. The Government continues to take part in a French-funded USD 4.9 ILO-IPEC regional project that runs until December 31, 2009. These projects seek to improve vocational training, apprenticeship programs, and government capacity.3371


3342 For statistical data not cited here, see the Data Sources and Definitions section. For data on ratifications and ILO-IPEC membership, see the Executive Summary. For minimum age for admission to work, age to which education is compulsory, and free public education, see Government of Togo, Code du travail, (December 5, 2006), title 5, chapter 4, article 150. See also Government of Togo, Loi n. 2002-029 (December 31, 2002), article 35; available from http://www.republicoftogo.com/central.php?o=9&s=0&d=3&i=74. See also U.S. Department of State official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, December 13, 2007. See also Plan International, For the Price of a Bike: Child Trafficking in Togo, [online] 2005 [cited December 3, 2007], 10; available from http://www.plan-international.org/pdfs/togoreport.pdf.

3343 ILO-IPEC, Combating Exploitative Child Labour in Togo Through Education, Proposal Abstract, Geneva, September, 2007, 3-4. See also U.S. Department of State, "Togo," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices2007, Washington, DC, March 11, 2008; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100509.htm.

3344 ECPAT, Togo: Global Monitoring Report on the Status of Action Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, ECPAT, 2007, 11-13; available from http://www.ecpat.net/eng/A4A_2005/PDF/AF/Global_Monitoring_Report-TOGO.pdf. See also Integrated Regional Information Networks, "TOGO: Child prostitution goes unchecked in Togo", IRINnews.org, [online], April 23, 2004 [cited December 4, 2007]; available from http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=49619.

3345 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Measures to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings in Benin, Nigeria and Togo, Geneva, September, 2006, 30. See also U.S. Embassy – Lome, reporting, October 12, 2007 para 10.

3346 Human Rights Watch, Borderline Slavery: Child Trafficking in Togo, Vol. 15, No. 8 (A), New York, April, 2003; available from http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/togo0403/. See also U.S. Department of State, "Togo (Tier 2 Watch List)," in Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007, Washington, DC, June 12, 2007; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100509.htm.

3347 U.S. Department of State official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, March 13, 2008. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Togo," section 5. See also ECPAT International CSEC Database, Togo; accessed December 2, 2007; available from http://www.ecpat.net.

3348 Plan International, Plan Togo, March 2005, 9. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Togo." See also Integrated Regional Information Networks, "West Africa: Impoverished Families Trade Their Children", IRINnews.org, [Online], June 16, 2005 [cited December 4, 2007]; available from http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=47680&SelectRegion=West_AFrica.

3349 Government of Togo, Code du Travail 2006, title V, chapter IV, article 150. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Togo," section 6d.

3350 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Togo," section 6d.

3351 Government of Togo, Code du Travail 2006, title V, chapter II, article 145.

3352 U.S. Department of State official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, February 20, 2007.

3353 Government of Togo, Loi n. 2007-017 portant code de l'enfant, (July 6, 2007). See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Togo," section 5. See also U.S. Department of State official, E-mail communication, March 13, 2008.

3354 Government of Togo, Code du Travail 2006, title VI, chapter IV, article 151. See also Government of Togo, Code de l'enfant, articles 387, 405 and 411.

3355 Government of Togo, Code du Travail 2006. See also Government of Togo, Code de l'enfant, articles 387-389, 392, and 394.

3356 Government of Togo, Code penal, December 13, 2007, articles 93 and 94; available from http://www.togoforum.com/Societe/DS/DROIT/codepen.htm. See also Government of Togo, Code de l'enfant, article 404 and 405.

3357 U.S. Embassy – Lome, reporting, August 26, 2005. See also Integrated Regional Information Networks, "Togo: Law passed to crack down on child traffickers", IRINnews.org, [online], August 4, 2005 [cited December 4, 2007]; available from http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=48460&SelectRegion=West_Africa.

3358 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Togo," in Child Soldiers Global Report 2004, London, 2004; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/document_get.php?id=800.

3359 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Togo," section 6d.

3360 Ibid., section 5.

3361 Catholic Relief Services official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, October 2, 2006. See also ILO-IPEC, Combating the Trafficking of Children for Labour Exploitation in West and Central Africa (LUTRENA), Technical Progress Report, Washington, DC, September 1, 2006, 2.

3362 ECOWAS and ECCAS, Multilateral Cooperation Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, in West and Central Africa, Abuja, July 7, 2006, 5-7. See also ILO-IPEC, Combating the Trafficking of Children for Labour Exploitation in West and Central Africa (LUTRENA), Technical Progress Report, 10-11.

3363 ECPAT International CSEC Database, Togo

3364 U.S. Embassy – Lome, reporting, February 28, 2008.

3365 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Togo," section 5.

3366 U.S. Embassy – Lome, reporting, November 30, 2007, para 10.

3367 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Togo," section 5.

3368 U.S. Embassy – Lome, reporting, February 28, 2008.

3369 USDOL-ILAB, Combating Exploitive Child Labor in Togo Through Education Project Summary, October, 2007.See also USDOL-ILAB, U.S. Department of Labor awards more than $54 million to eliminate exploitive child labor around the world, Press Release, October 1, 2007; available from http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/ilab/ILAB20071498.htm.

3370 ILO-IPEC, Amendment to Project Document "Combating the Trafficking of Children for Labour Exploitation in West and Central Africa", Project Document Amendment Geneva, September 3, 2004. See also ILO-IPEC, Combating the Trafficking of Children for Labour Exploitation in West and Central Africa (LUTRENA), Technical Progress Report, Geneva, September 1, 2007, 1-3. See also ILO-IPEC Geneva official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, December 12, 2007. See also ILO-IPEC Geneva official, LUTRENA Project Table III.C. Final Report March 2008 E-mail communication to USDOL official, March 24, 2008.

3371 ILO-IPEC Geneva official, E-mail communication, December 12, 2007. See also ILO-IPEC official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, February 27, 2008.

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