Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Lecture Resources


[Lecture Resources | Resources for Teachers | Country-by-Country Reports ]

Exploitation of Children



Protection Project - Chad [DOC]

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

[Last accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - Children from Chad in Cameroon are paid as little as 3,000 CFA francs per month and required work as much as 18 hours a day. They are undernourished and sometimes sexually abused.  In early 2003, a Chadian girl who had been trafficked to Nigeria 10 years before at the age of 9 managed to escape. She had been forced into prostitution during her captivity. She reported that other Chadian girls were living under similar circumstances in Nigeria, and that the main clients for the trafficked victims were French legionnaires.

Chadian children trafficked to the Central African Republic are forced into bonded labor. During the dry season, nomadic cattlemen from northern Cameroon and central Chad traffic boys to the Central African Republic. The herdsmen approach parents either directly or through middlemen.

Children are trafficked internally within the country. One farmer in the south of Chad sold his 9-year-old daughter as a domestic servant to a ministerial representative. The girl managed to escape.

Young girls known as tallanis, who sell foodstuffs on city streets, are sometimes kidnapped for occult practices or sexual exploitation or both. Also, poor families from rural areas send their children to live with relatives or friends in the city so that the children may be educated. Often the girls are financially or sexually exploited. Girls are also brought from the countryside to work in drinking establishments, where clients sexually exploited them.



Dominican Republic

Haitian Children Sold as Slave Laborers and Prostitutes

Gary Younge in Santo Domingo, The Guardian, September 22, 2005

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 4 September 2011]

On market day in Dajabón, a bustling Dominican town on the Haitian border, you can pick up many bargains if you know where to look. You can haggle the price of a live chicken down to 40 pesos (72p); wrestle 10lb of macaroni from 60 to 50 pesos; and, with some discreet inquiries, buy a Haitian child for the equivalent of £54.22.

There is a thriving trade in Haitian children in the Dominican Republic, where they are mostly used for domestic service, agricultural work or prostitution. - htcp




The Protection Project - Fiji [DOC]

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

[Last accessed 2009]

FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE TRAFFICKING INFRASTRUCTUREPacific Island children may be particularly vulnerable targets for child sex tourists. As the South Pacific emerges as a huge tourist destination, and as police crack down on sex tourists, both in their home countries (such as Australia) and in the more popular destination countries in Asia, there is growing concern that child sex tourism and associated activities are on the increase in the region.

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - The report also warned that the sale of children in Fiji could become a problem if loopholes in the adoption law were not amended. Although baby and child trafficking from Fiji appeared to be rare, the potential existed for such trafficking to increase. There have been a number of cases of older children being taken from their parents to live in Australia and New Zealand.




Ghana - Juliana Dogbadzi - Sex Slavery

Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, Camera Works: Speak Truth to Power, The Washington Post

[accessed 6 February 2011]

Juliana Dogbadzi, enslaved in a shrine in her native Ghana as a young child under a custom known as Trokosi, was forced to work without pay, without food or clothing, and to perform sexual services for the holy man. She was able to escape seventeen years later, after several failed attempts, at the age of twenty-three. Trokosi comes from an Ewe word meaning "slave of the gods," and is understood as a religious and cultural practice in which young girls, mostly virgins, are sent into lifelong servitude to atone for the alleged crimes of their relatives. In 1997, it was estimated that approximately five thousand young girls and women were being kept in 345 shrines in the southeastern part of Ghana.




Social factors and human trafficking

Editorial, Jamaica Gleaner, January 29, 2007

[accessed 15 February 2011]

[accessed 19 December 2016]

In the context of Jamaica's problem of violent crime, particularly homicides, human trafficking, especially the internal movement of young women to work as exotic dancers or prostitutes, may not be seen by many as a serious matter. Indeed, many will claim that most of these people are free and willing participants in an open market; except that too many of the participants are minors whose ignorance is exploited.

Having the laws, therefore, is good. They must be enforced. But ultimately, a solution to this matter of human trafficking, and its worst form, the exploitation, involves other factors. Not least of these is to 'normalise' Jamaica's murder rate so that people have a sense that there other crimes worthy of prosecution. We also have to get the economy right so that people have real jobs and incomes and don't so easily fall into the clutches of the exploiters. And we have to fix education, that great social leveller and the best route to a decent life.




A generation betrayed

[access information unavailable]

Nation Newspapers carries a story today where the German ambassador to Kenya laments on the practice of child trafficking. More than 20,000 children are trafficked annually in Kenya! 20,000! Where are the parents whenever this practice is going on?

The ambassador states that the practice of child trafficking and prostitution is rampant due to private villas where these activities are carried out. Kenya currently has the notorious reputation as a hot sex tourism destination. Most of these villas are rented by visiting tourists. Anything can happen behind closed doors and nothing can be done to these law breakers. At 20,000 a year, these are too many children who fall through the cracks without the care of the government or families. With unmonitored villas and houses, the practice continues without interruption.




The Protection Project - Lesotho [DOC]

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

[accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING – Children from rural areas of the country who are escaping hardship and the effects of HIV/AIDS gravitate toward Maseru, where they are coerced or kidnapped by Afrikaans-speaking white South Africans. They are taken across the border in private cars to asparagus farms and border towns in eastern Free State. There they are held captive in private homes, where they suffer a particularly “sadistic and macabre” sort of exploitation. The children are often locked in the house and left alone during the day; at night they are violently raped and verbally and sexually assaulted by groups of white men.




Chocolate and Slavery: Child Labor in Cote d'Ivoire

Samlanchith Chanthavong, Trade & Environment Database TED Case Studies Number 664, 2002

[accessed 20 February 2011]

[accessed 12 June 2017]

SLAVERY AND THE LINK TO CHOCOLATE - Slave traders are trafficking boys ranging from the age of 12 to 16 from their home countries and are selling them to cocoa farmers in Cote d'Ivoire. They work on small farms across the country, harvesting the cocoa beans day and night, under inhumane conditions. Most of the boys come from neighboring Mali, where agents hang around bus stations looking for children that are alone or are begging for food. They lure the kids to travel to Cote d'Ivoire with them, and then the traffickers sell the children to farmers in need of cheap labor (Raghavan, "Lured...").



Papua New Guinea & Solomon Islands

Delegates agree to strengthen efforts to reduce demand for Commerical Sexual Exploitation Of Children

Joint Media Release: ECPAT International, UNESCAP, UNICEF, 11 November 2004, Bangkok

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

[accessed 10 September 2011]

In the Pacific Islands, ongoing research is revealing growing problems of commercial sexual exploitation. In the Solomon Islands, for example, girls are still forced into early marriages and recent violence has led to a surge in child rapes and in boys and girls being forced into prostitution for economic survival. Child marriage is also a major problem in Papua New Guinea, and is a basis of demand for internal trafficking of children.



Sri Lanka

'100 kids abused daily' in Sri Lanka

Susannah Price, Colombo Correspondent, BBC News, February 9, 1999

[accessed 24 December 2010]

The scale of the abuse has never been widely investigated. The researchers into this first draft study on sexually exploited and abused children concluded there were between 10,000-15,000 boys involved in the sex trade, not only in beach areas but also in the hill country and near other tourst sites.  They found the boys were mostly aged between eight and 15 and while most of them came from fishing hamlets and coastal villages, about a third were lured from the inland rural areas by promises of work.

The study said most foreigh paedophiles came from western Europe but pointed out the involvement of local agents and pimps.   The authors also highlighted the plight of what they termed the bonded children, aged from five upwards who are kept virtual prisoner in houses run by international rings and who are used to prostitution and pornography.

The report found there was almost no rehabilitation or counselling available for victims who are often stigmatised by society.



Tajikistan, Pakistan, UAE, Turkey

Woman jailed for forcing child into sex trade

Independent Online (IOL) News, Dushanbe, 5 November 2004

[accessed 28 December 2010]

Last week a non-governmental organisation said there was a growing trend in the abduction and sale of Tajik boys for sexual exploitation abroad.  The Modar organisation said groups in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Pakistan and other countries were prepared to pay as much as $70 000 for a Tajik boy between the ages of 10 and 12.




Helping Children Reclaim Their Lives [PDF]

14 February 2006

[accessed 28 December 2010]

In rural Tanzania, one out of three children between the ages of 10 and 14 work outside the family. They labor as farm workers, miners, domestic servants, and prostitutes, often under abusive and exploitive conditions.

DETRIMENTAL WORKING CONDITIONS - Commercial agriculture in Tanzania employs large numbers of these youngsters. They provide much of the manual and machine-based labor on tobacco, coffee, tea, sugarcane, and sisal plantations. (Sisal is a fibrous crop from which rope is manufactured.) For example, in one area of the coastal region, 30 percent of the sisal plantation workers are children aged 12 to 14. They labor up to 11 hours per day with no specific rest periods, six days a week. Their wages are half that of adults, while nourishment and lodging are inadequate. Only half have completed primary school. Some plantations require as much as 14-, 16-, or even 17-hour work days. Mines and quarries also employ large numbers of youth who spend most of their days toiling above or below ground in very hazardous conditions. They risk injury from dust inhalation, blasting, mine collapse, flooding, as well as illness from silicosis.




HRW Report:  Togo - Borderline Slavery - Child Trafficking in Togo

Human Rights Watch, 1 April 2003

[accessed 30 December 2010]

SUMMARY - TOGO'S TRAFFICKED GIRLS - Girls interviewed by Human Rights Watch were typically recruited into domestic or market labor either directly by an employer or by a third-party intermediary. Most recalled some degree of family involvement in the transaction, such as parents accepting money from traffickers, distant relatives paying intermediaries to find work abroad, or parents handing over their children based on the promise of education, professional training or paid work.

SUMMARY - TOGO'S TRAFFICKED BOYS - Boys interviewed by Human Rights Watch were for the most part recruited into agricultural labor in southwestern Nigeria. A small number worked on cotton fields in Benin, and one child was recruited into factory work in Côte d'Ivoire. Traffickers tended less to make arrangements with boys' parents than to make direct overtures to the boys themselves-tempting them with the promise of a bicycle, a radio, or vocational training abroad. Contrary to expectation, they were taken on long, sometimes perilous journeys to rural Nigeria and ruthlessly exploited. Most were given short-term assignments on farms where they worked long hours in the fields, seven days a week. "When we were finished with one job, they would find us another one," one child told Human Rights Watch.

Boys worked from as early as 5:00 a.m. until late at night, sometimes with hazardous equipment such as saws or machetes. Some described conditions of bonded labor, whereby their trafficker would pay for their journey to Nigeria and order them to work off the debt. Many recalled that taking time off for sickness or injury would lead to longer working hours or corporal punishment.




Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 2 January 2011]

CHILDREN - According to UNICEF estimates, the LRA has abducted approximately 12 thousand children since 2002, and continued to abduct children during the year. The LRA forced children into virtual slavery as laborers, soldiers, guards, and sex slaves. In addition to being beaten, raped, and forced to march until exhausted, abducted children were forced to participate in the killing of other children who attempted to escape. More than 85 percent of LRA captives were made up of children whom the LRA abducted and forced to fight as rebels; most LRA rebels were between the ages of 11 and 16.




The (ongoing) San Diego, California Child Mass Sexual Slavery Scandal

LibertadLatina, July 31, 2009

[accessed 8 January 2011]

The articles here below describe one of the largest known child and youth sex trafficking cases in the United States to date.  In one of several related cases, hundreds of Mexican girls between 7 and 18 were kidnapped or subjected to false romantic entrapment by organized criminal sex trafficking gangs.  Victims were then brought to San Diego County, California.  Over a 10 year period these girls were raped by hundreds of men per day in more than 2 dozen home based and agricultural camp based brothels.

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