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Human Trafficking
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The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025              

Republic of the Congo (ROC)

The economy is a mixture of subsistence agriculture, an industrial sector based largely on oil, and support services, and a government characterized by budget problems and overstaffing. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports.

The current administration presides over an uneasy internal peace and faces difficult economic challenges of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Congo-ROC

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in the Republic of the Congo (ROC).  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of child prostitution are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got started, how they survive, and how some succeed in leaving.  Perhaps your paper could focus on runaways and the abuse that led to their leaving.  Other factors of interest might be poverty, rejection, drug dependence, coercion, violence, addiction, hunger, neglect, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the manipulative and dangerous adults who control this activity.  There is a lot to the subject of Child Prostitution.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Child prostitution on the rise in Congo

Independent Online (IOL) News, Brazzaville, October 1 2008

[accessed 4 May 2011]

Child prostitution has reached alarmingly high levels in Congo, a local NGO reported on Wednesday after conducting a state-sponsored, UN funded investigation.  "Prostitution increasingly affects underage girls who sometimes do not use protection. They have no money," said Elie Sosthene Nganga, the head of Attac 3 - an NGO set up to fight drugs, prostitution and HIV or Aids.  "Prostitution has increased during the different cycles of (civil) war, which have divided families and provoked a change in children's behaviour to engage in sexual promiscuity to survive," she added.

A 2003 World Bank-backed study found that 120 000 people suffered from HIV or Aids in Congo, a seroprevalence rate of 4,2 percent.


*** ARCHIVES ***

Human Rights Reports » 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 10, 2020 -of-the-congo/

[accessed 23 August 2020]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN - The law provides penalties for crimes against children such as trafficking, pornography, neglect, and abuse. Penalties for these crimes range from forced labor to fines of up to 10 million CFA francs ($17,000) and prison sentences of several years. The penalty for child pornography includes a prison sentence of up to one year and a fine up to 500,000 CFA francs ($850). The minimum age for consensual sex is 18. The maximum penalty for sex with a minor is five years’ imprisonment and a fine of 10 million CFA francs ($17,000). A lack of specificity in the law was an obstacle to successful prosecution.

2018 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, US Dept of Labor, 2019

[accessed 22 August 2020]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

[page 390]

In 2018, the government identified eight child trafficking victims. (4,30) In one case of child sex trafficking, the government reported that it provided at least seven victims with vocational retraining, medical assistance, and psycho-social services, including family and psychological counseling in Brazzaville.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 29 September 2006

[accessed 30 January 2011]

[81] While welcoming the study on the sexual exploitation of children which is being conducted with UNICEF’s support, the Committee expresses concern at sexual harassment in schools. It is also concerned at the fact that sexual exploitation of children is a widespread practice. The Committee is also concerned at the fact that the Portella Law prohibiting the presence of children in bars and night clubs is not enforced.

[83] While noting that the State party has ratified the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others on 25 August 1977, the Committee is concerned at the absence of legislation prohibiting trafficking in persons, particularly children.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, 12/05/2000

[accessed 4 May 2011]

21. The Committee expresses its grave concern regarding the decline of the standard of health in the Republic of the Congo. The AIDS epidemic is now taking its toll on the country, while the ongoing financial crisis has resulted in a serious shortage of funds for public health services, and for improving the water and sanitation infrastructure in urban areas. The war has caused serious damage to health facilities in Brazzaville. According to a joint study of the WHO and UNAIDS, some 100,000 Congolese, including over 5,000 children, were affected with the HIV virus at the beginning of 1997. More than 80,000 people are thought to have died from AIDS, with 11,000 deaths reported in 1997 alone. Some 45,000 children are said to have lost either their mother or both parents as a result of the epidemic.

The Protection Project - Republic of the Congo (ROC) [DOC]

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

[accessed 2009]

FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE TRAFFICKING INFRASTRUCTURE - By 2010, an estimated 20 million children under the age of 15 in Sub-Saharan Africa will have lost one or both parents from HIV/AIDS. Those children are left extremely vulnerable to trafficking for forced labor, forced prostitution, or forced combat.

The economic collapse of the 1990s, coupled with the rise in households headed by females, may have contributed to an increase in informal prostitution.

Five Years After Stockholm [PDF]

ECPAT: Fifth Report on implementation of the Agenda for Action

ECPAT International, November 2001

[accessed 13 September 2011]

[page 59] REPUBLIC OF CONGO – The Republic of Congo has not yet developed a plan on CSEC. Due to instability in the country, children’s issues have not been seen as a priority. However, the NGO Centre Congolais pour la Promotion et la Défense des Droits de L’Enfant (CPDE) reports that one of its activities has been to lobby stakeholders, especially Parliament, to start work on the development of a national plan against CSEC.

Although CSEC is reported to be a very visible and increasing problem in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire, it seems that nothing is being done to tackle it. According to CPDE, there is no cooperation on CSEC issues, no adequate child protection measures, and a lack of rehabilitation and reintegration services for victims. The NGO is reported to be the only one working on CSEC in the country



Human Rights Reports » 2006 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 6, 2007

[accessed 7 February 2020]

CHILDREN - There were isolated cases of child prostitution among street children. The prevalence of the problem remained unclear. According to reports from international and local NGOs and other observers, these cases were not linked to trafficking but were efforts by some street children to survive. International organizations assisted with programs to feed and shelter street children.

The Department of Labor’s 2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor [PDF]

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2007

[accessed 2 November 2010]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Children work with their families on farms or in informal business activities.1122 In Brazzaville and other urban centers, there are significant numbers of street children, primarily from the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, who engage in street vending and begging. There were isolated cases of children involved in commercial sexual exploitation.1123 There are unconfirmed accounts of trafficking into the Republic of Congo of “minor relatives” of immigrants from West Africa.1124 Children from West Africa reportedly work as domestic servants, fishermen, shop workers, and street sellers.

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