U.S. Department of State 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report - Gabon

Gabon (Tier 2)

Gabon is primarily a destination country for children trafficked from other West African countries such as Benin, Togo, and Nigeria, for domestic servitude and work in the informal commercial sector. Many children are transported to the Gabonese coast by sea, only to endure long work hours, physical abuse, insufficient food, no wages, and no access to education. A significant number of these children are also sexually abused by their employers.

The Government of Gabon does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Gabon does not have specific laws to address trafficking in persons, but draft legislation was proposed in August 2001. Other laws that can be used to prosecute trafficking, such as child abuse, are inadequate to punish traffickers. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some officials at all levels of government may employ trafficked foreign children as domestic labor, and that police and immigration officials may facilitate child trafficking. And while official government policy disapproves of trafficking, employment of trafficked children, and facilitation of trafficking in children, no government official has been formally accused of or prosecuted for trafficking or related crimes. Over the past year, the government has initiated a program to provide protection to victims. . Gabon signed an agreement with the European Union, and provided the facility for the establishment of a center to provide assistance to trafficking victims. The Center was inaugurated in March 2002 and provides shelter, as well as legal, medical and psychological assistance to victims. Government officials sometimes bring children to centers for trafficking victims, and also rely on the victims' embassies for assistance. Victims are generally not punished by being detained, jailed, fined or deported. Regarding prevention, the government provided free billboard space in major cities last year for a United Nations' information campaign on child trafficking. Gabon participates in regional conferences on the subject, and recently hosted the Second Sub-Regional Consultations on Cross-Border Child Trafficking in Libreville in March 2002. Gabon is one of the West and Central African countries participating in an international program to reduce trafficking in children.


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.