U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Togo
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||12 June 2007|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Togo, 12 June 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/467be3de23.html [accessed 22 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This 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.|
Togo (Tier 2)
Togo is a source, transit, and destination country for children and women trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficking within the country is more prevalent than transnational trafficking and the majority of victims are children, primarily girls. Girls are trafficked within Togo for forced labor as produce porters, market vendors, maids, and for sexual exploitation. Transnationally, Togolese girls are trafficked primarily to Gabon, Benin, Nigeria, and Niger for domestic servitude, forced labor, and sexual exploitation. Girls are also trafficked to Togo from Benin, Nigeria, and Ghana for domestic servitude and possibly for sexual exploitation. Togolese boys are trafficked primarily to Nigeria, Benin and Cote d'Ivoire for agricultural labor. There have been reports of Togolese women and girls trafficked to Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, likely for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation. Togolese women were also trafficked to France and Germany for domestic servitude 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, despite limited resources. To improve its response to trafficking, Togo should increase efforts to enforce its 2005 law against child trafficking, develop an effective method for trafficking crime data collection, pass its Child Code with an improved definition of child trafficking, draft and pass a law against all forms of trafficking, strengthen efforts to provide social rehabilitation for victims, and raise public awareness about trafficking.
The Government of Togo took some increased steps to combat trafficking through law enforcement efforts during the last year. Togo does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, though its 2005 Law Related to Child Trafficking criminalizes the trafficking of children. This law, however, provides a weak definition of child trafficking and fails to specifically prohibit child sexual exploitation. Its maximum prescribed penalty of 10 years' imprisonment is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with prescribed penalties for statutory rape. A 2001 draft statute with an improved definition of trafficking remains stalled at the National Assembly. The government reported 23 trafficking arrests and prosecutions in 2006. In February 2007, a man was convicted in a Kara court for trafficking four children to Nigeria. The court, however, imposed only a two-year sentence. Government, NGO, and international organization officials reported that other traffickers had likely been arrested and prosecuted during the year, but these reports could not be confirmed due to the government's failure to systematically collect trafficking crime data. The government relies largely on donor-funded local vigilance committees to report trafficking cases.
The Togolese government demonstrated modest efforts to protect trafficking victims over the last year. The Ministry of Social Affairs and The National Committee for the Reception and Reinsertion of Trafficked Children assist victims by either referring them to two primary NGOs in Lome or by coordinating with law enforcement officials, NGOs, and international organizations to return them to their communities. The government referred 240 child victims to one NGO in Lome during the year. In 2006, the police helped coordinate the rescue of at least 637 victims who were subsequently returned to their families. The government lacks the resources, however, to provide victims with social rehabilitation or to monitor their progress after return. Neither the government nor NGOs provide any care for male victims between the ages of 15 and 18, or for adult victims. The government does not encourage victims to assist in trafficking investigations or prosecutions. The government does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution, however, the majority of victims are Togolese nationals. Victims are not inappropriately incarcerated or fined for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked.
The Government of Togo made minimal efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. Local government officials played an active role as members of ILO-funded local anti-trafficking committees to raise awareness of trafficking by organizing skits and radio announcements in local languages. Although the 2005 anti-trafficking law called for a National Committee to Combat Trafficking, this coordinating body has not yet been established. Togo has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.