Last Updated: Wednesday, 09 July 2014, 13:04 GMT

2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Togo

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 31 August 2007
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Togo, 31 August 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d7495653.html [accessed 10 July 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 Labor
Percent of children 5-14 estimated as working in 2000:64.5%4090
Minimum age for admission to work:154091
Age to which education is compulsory:154092
Free public education:Yes4093
Gross primary enrollment rate in 2004:101%4094
Net primary enrollment rate in 2004:79%4095
Percent of children 5-14 attending school in 2000:61.8%4096
As of 2003, percent of primary school entrants likely to reach grade 5:76%4097
Ratified Convention 138:3/16/19844098
Ratified Convention 182:9/19/20004099
ILO-IPEC Participating Country:Yes, associated4100

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In 2000, approximately 65.8 percent of boys and 63.3 percent of girls ages 5 to 14 were working in Togo.4101 Children, including those as young as 5, were working in both urban and rural areas, particularly in family-based farming, small-scale trading, domestic work, and factories. Working children typically did not attend school for at least two-thirds of the year.4102 Children were also employed as prostitutes in bars, restaurants, and hotels.4103

Togo is a country of origin, destination, and transit for children trafficked for forced labor, especially domestic service and sexual exploitation. Four primary 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.4104 There are also reports of children trafficked to Cote d'Ivoire, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and to European countries.4105 Some parents, misled by false information, send their children abroad with traffickers. Other parents sell children to traffickers in exchange for bicycles, radios, or clothing.4106

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

On December 5, 2006, the Government of Togo adopted a new labor code raising the minimum employment age in any enterprise to 15 years.4107 The law prohibits children under 18 from working at night and requires a daily rest period of at least 12 consecutive hours for all working children.4108 It also establishes fines as a punishment for non-compliance.4109 The Ministry of Social Affairs and Promotion of Women is the agency responsible for enforcing the new labor code. For certain industrial and technical employment, 18 years is the minimum age for entry. Ministry of Labor inspectors are responsible for enforcing this; but only enforced age restrictions in formal sectors in urban areas.4110

The law defines and prohibits the worst forms of child labor under penalty of imprisonment including slavery or similar practices, indebted servitude, forced or bonded labor, and the use of children in hostilities.4111 The minimum age for both voluntary and compulsory recruitment into the military is 18.4112 The procurement of children for prostitution or the use of children for the production of pornographic materials is also prohibited.4113 The law also makes it illegal to use children to engage in illicit activities, such as the production and trafficking of drugs. Any work whose nature is detrimental to the health, security, or morals of a child is also forbidden.4114 The law punishes child traffickers and their accomplices with a prison sentence of up to 10 years and fines.4115 A number of 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 allow for accelerated extradition of traffickers among those countries.4116

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

In July 2006, Togo was 1 of 24 countries to adopt the Multilateral Cooperative Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, in West and Central Africa and the Joint Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children in the West and Central African Regions. As part of the Multilateral Cooperative Agreement, the governments agreed to put into place the child trafficking monitoring system developed by the USDOL-funded ILO-IPEC LUTRENA project; to ensure that birth certificates and travel identity documents cannot easily be falsified or altered; to provide assistance to each other in the investigation, arrest and prosecution of trafficking offenders; to protect, rehabilitate, and reintegrate trafficking victims; and to improve educational systems, vocational training and apprenticeships.4117

The government has a National Plan of Action on child abuse, child labor, and child trafficking that includes activities such as awareness-raising campaigns, training workshops, and establishing community structures for prevention and reintegration of child trafficking victims.4118

The Government of Togo participates in a USD 9.5 million regional USDOL-funded ILO-IPEC project to combat the trafficking of children for exploitive labor in West and Central Africa. The project targets 9,000 children for withdrawal and prevention from trafficking in 6 countries, including Togo.4119 The government also takes part in a regional ILO-IPEC project funded by France to combat child labor in Francophone Africa.4120


4090 UCW analysis of ILO SIMPOC, UNICEF MICS, and World Bank surveys, Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Rates, March 1, 2007.

4091 U.S. Department of State, "Togo," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006, Washington, DC, March 6, 2007, Section 6d; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78762.htm.

4092 Ibid., Section 5.

4093 Ibid.

4094 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Gross Enrolment Ratio. Primary. Total, accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org/.

4095 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Net Enrolment Rate. Primary. Total, accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org.

4096 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Survival Rate to Grade 5. Total, accessed December 18, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org.

4097 Ibid.

4098 ILO, Ratifications by Country, accessed September 25, 2006; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newratframeE.htm.

4099 Ibid.

4100 ILO-IPEC, IPEC Action Against Child Labour; Highlights 2006, Geneva, October 2006; available from http://www.ilo.org/iloroot/docstore/ipec/prod/eng/20070228_Implementationreport_en_Web.pdf.

4101 UCW analysis of ILO SIMPOC, UNICEF MICS, and World Bank surveys, Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Rates.

4102 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Togo," Section 6d.

4103 Integrated Regional Information Networks, "TOGO: Child prostitution goes unchecked in Togo", IRINnews.org, [online], April 23, 2004 [cited May 19, 2004]; available from http://www.irinnews.org/print.asp?ReportID=40715. See also ECPAT International CSEC Database, Togo; accessed October 13, 2006; available from http://www.ecpat.net.

4104 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/.

4105 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Togo," Section 5. See also U.S. Department of State, "Togo (Tier 2 Watch List)," in Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006, Washington, DC, June 5, 2006; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2006/65990.htm. See also ECPAT International CSEC Database, Togo; accessed October 13, 2006.

4106 Plan International, For the Price of a Bike: Child Trafficking in Togo, [online] n.d. 2005 [cited April 1, 2006]; available from http://www.plan-international.org/pdfs/togoreport.pdf. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Togo." See also Integrated Regional Information Networks, "West Africa: Impoverished Families Trade Their Children", IRINnews.org, [Online], 2005 [cited July 1, 2005]; available from http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=47680&SelectRegion=West_AFrica.

4107 Embassy of Togo official, E-mail communication USDOL official, December 13, 2006. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Togo," Section 6d.

4108 Government of Togo, Code du Travail, Ordonnance No. 16, (May 8, 1974), Chapter 2, Article 145; Chapter 6, Article 154.

4109 U.S. Department of State official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, February 20, 2007.

4110 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Togo."

4111 Code du travail, (December 5, 2006), Chapter 1, Article 4; Chapter 4, Article 151. Government of Togo, Penal Code, Articles 93 and 94; available from http://209.190.246.239/protectionproject/statutesPDF/Togo.pdf.

4112 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.

4113 Government of Togo, Code du Travail, Chapter 1, Article 4; Chapter 4, Article 151. Government of Togo, Penal Code, accessed 2004, previously online from the Protection Project, Articles 93 and 94. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Togo," Section 6c.

4114 Government of Togo, Code du Travail, Chapter 1, Article 4; Chapter 4, Article 151, Government of Togo, Penal Code, Articles 93 and 94.

4115 U.S. Embassy – Lome, reporting, September 26, 2005. See also Integrated Regional Information Networks, "Togo: Law passed to crack down on child traffickers," IRINnews.org, [online], 2005 [cited December 14, 2006]; available from http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=48460&SelectRegion=West_Africa.

4116 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Togo," Section 5.

4117 ECOWAS and ECASS, Multilateral Cooperation Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, in West and Central Africa, Abuja, July 7, 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.

4118 ECPAT International CSEC Database, Togo; accessed October 13, 2006.See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Togo," Section 5.

4119 ILO-IPEC, Combating the Trafficking of Children for Labour Exploitation in West and Central Africa (LUTRENA).

4120 ILO-IPEC Geneva official, E-mail communication USDOL official, November 16, 2006.

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