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The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

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

Gabonese Republic (Gabon)

Gabon enjoys a per capita income four times that of most sub-Saharan African nations, but because of high income inequality, a large proportion of the population remains poor. Gabon depended on timber and manganese until oil was discovered offshore in the early 1970s. The oil sector now accounts for more than 50% of GDP.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]


CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Gabon.  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.


ECPAT:  CSEC Overview - Country Report

ECPAT International

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 16 May 2011]

Little information is available specifically on the state of the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Gabon. However, it is reported that trafficking in children for child labor in the West and Central African region is a significant problem. Children are trafficked to Gabon mainly for domestic labor where they are exposed to sexual abuse and some get caught up in the circle of prostitution when they escape from their employer and have nowhere to go, and no means of earning a living.


*** 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

[accessed 30 August 2020]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN - The law prohibits the commercial sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, and authorities generally enforced the law. Perpetrators convicted of procuring a child for prostitution or a child pornography-related offense may be sentenced to between two and five years’ imprisonment. Conviction of child sex trafficking is punishable by 20 years’ imprisonment and fines of up to 100 million CFA ($169,779). Conviction of possession of child pornography is punishable by imprisonment of six months to one year and a fine of up to 222,000 CFA francs ($377). These penalties were sufficient to deter violations.

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 6 February 2011]

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 - A social practice known as “placement” is also reported to be a problem.  According to tradition, poor families send their children to more affluent homes where the children receive an education in exchange for performing various services for their host families.  However, the practice has degenerated, and placed children are allegedly trafficked or subjected to commercial sexual exploitation.

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

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1 February 2002

[accessed 6 February 2011]

[64] The Committee is concerned about the increasing number of child victims of commercial sexual exploitation, including prostitution and pornography.  Concern is also expressed at the insufficient programs for the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of child victims of such abuse and exploitation.

The Protection Project - Gabon [DOC]

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

[accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - In addition, children from Nigeria may be trafficked to Gabon for prostitution  and menial labor.  Some of the Togolese girls initially trafficked to Gabon as housemaids are driven into prostitution there if they manage to escape from domestic servitude.

ECPAT:  CSEC in West Africa

ECPAT International Newsletters, Issue No : 34  1/March/2001

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 16 May 2011]

CONFRONTING THE PROBLEM - Increasingly governments are willing to acknowledge that CSEC is a growing problem within their borders, as well as the region, and are making efforts to combat it. The Togolese government, for example, has developed a national action plan on child trafficking and child abuse. The Department for the Protection and Promotion of the Family and of Children has been carrying out education and sensitization campaigns against sexual exploitation and the trafficking of children for sexual purposes. In addition, it has been cooperating with governments of neighboring countries, particularly Gabon, to remedy the situation.

New Global Treaty to Combat "Sex Slavery"

United Nations Department of Public Information, DPI/2098, February 2000 -- Tenth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders

[accessed 3 September 2014]

CHILDREN SOLD OR KIDNAPPED - Child victims are easy to come by. In some regions, parents sell their children to traffickers for ready cash. Or traffickers simply kidnap them. Kidnapping is especially common in orphanages, where children's photographs are taken so that future "owners" can choose the child they want. According to Anti-Slavery International, children aged 8 to 15 years are "recruited" or kidnapped from backward villages of the poorest countries in Africa, such as Benin or Togo, and sold as slaves to households, plantations or brothels in neighboring countries, including Nigeria and Gabon.

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