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Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2025         

Republic of Equatorial Guinea

The discovery and exploitation of large oil reserves have contributed to dramatic economic growth in recent years. Forestry, farming, and fishing are also major components of GDP. Subsistence farming predominates. Although pre-independence Equatorial Guinea counted on cocoa production for hard currency earnings, the neglect of the rural economy under successive regimes has diminished potential for agriculture-led growth.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: EquatorialGuinea

Equatorial Guinea has been primarily a destination for children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and possibly for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Children are believed to be trafficked from nearby countries, primarily Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, and Gabon for domestic servitude, market labor, ambulant vending, and other forms of forced labor, such as carrying water and washing laundry. Most victims are believed to be trafficked to Malabo and Bata, where a burgeoning oil industry created demand for labor and commercial exploitation.   - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009   Check out a later country report here or a full TIP Report here



CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Equatorial Guinea.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to verify their authenticity or to validate 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 Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include precursors of trafficking such as poverty and hunger. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  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 Labor Increasing in Equatorial Guinea

afrol News (African News Agency), 21 November 2000

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 13 June 2013]

According to a report released today by the Global March Against Child Labour documenting child labour all over the world, there is no escape for children suffering the "worst forms of child labour" in Equatorial Guinea. This includes child trafficking, child prostitution and other labour by children which should be attending school classes.

Equatorial Guinea is also reported to one of the destinations for regional child trafficking. The report mentions "networks that feed the domestic labour market" in Equatorial Guinea with children from Benin, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo. Equatorial Guinea has a long history of forced labour, both domestic and on plantations, going continuously back to early colonial times


*** ARCHIVES ***

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Equatorial Guinea

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 6 June 2021]


The law prohibits forced or compulsory labor. The Ministry of Labor and Social Security conducted numerous workplace inspections to verify adherence to laws on forced labor. Despite creating an online tool and telephone numbers to report cases of forced labor and promoting its efforts online, the government did not effectively enforce the law or take sufficient action on ending slavery, and forced labor occurred. Penalties were commensurate with those for other analogous serious crimes and are included in the law against trafficking in persons.

Employees in the public and private sector were often paid months late. Some workers, especially those from overseas, quit their jobs because of nonpayment, having effectively worked for months without compensation.


Children were reportedly transported from nearby countries–primarily Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Togo, and Gabon–and forced to work as domestics, market laborers, ambulant vendors, launderers, and beggars. Increasingly there were reports of local children brought from rural areas to work as domestic servants in Malabo and Bata. The government occasionally provided social services on an ad hoc basis to children found working in markets.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 27 April 2020]


Foreign workers in the oil and construction industries are subject to passport confiscation and forced labor. Equatoguineans are also vulnerable to forced labor, including in the sex trade. Corrupt officials are often complicit in human trafficking, according to the US State Department.

A Study on Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation within th Gulf of Guinea countries

James Okolie-Osemene PhD, Department of International Relations and the Director of Research and Linkage Programme, Wellspring University, Nigeria

[Long URL]

[accessed 14 February 2022]

The objectives of this study are to situate and examine the context, nature and networks of human trafficking for sexual exploitation around the Gulf of Guinea in order to identify the intersection between the sources, transit and destinations of the illicit trade, interrogate the human rights implications of human trafficking for sexual exploitation around the countries of the Gulf of Guinea on the one hand, and the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the anti-trafficking activities on the other hand.

Equatorial Guinea reporting to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) – 2005

[access date unavailable]

SEXUAL TRAFFICKING - The Committee noted that sexual violence and trafficking has been reported in Equatorial Guinea. They also stated the need to raise awareness of the consequences of exploitation and as well as to apply international legal measures. The Delegation agreed that the area is one of great concern and authorities will be involved in international and regional initiatives.

Child Trafficking a Major Problem in Africa, Report Finds

Tara Boyle, Washington File Staff Writer, U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs, 15 June 2004

[accessed 9 September 2014];wap2

[accessed 28 January 2018]

Three nations in sub-Saharan Africa -- Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Sudan -- received a "Tier Three" or least favorable ranking in the report for failing to make reasonable attempts to end the exploitation of minors. In Equatorial Guinea, the report found, the government has not used the resources from its petroleum industry to do anything to alleviate the situation.

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 3 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 - Children are trafficked to Equatorial Guinea from other countries in West and Central Africa, particularly Cameroon, Nigeria, and Benin. Girls are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic servitude, while boys are forced to work as farmhands and street hawkers. Boys trafficked from Nigeria reportedly work in market stalls in Bata without pay or personal freedom.

Concluding Observations Of The Committee On The Rights Of The Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 3 November 2004

[accessed 3 February 2011]

[56] The Committee welcomes the State party’s ratification of ILO Conventions No. 138 and No. 182 in 2001 and takes note of the adoption in 2004 of the new law against smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons. Nevertheless, it remains concerned at the significant number of children, especially girls, working on the street and as domestic servants and about the lack of effective implementation of the labor laws and mechanisms to control child labor.

[58] The Committee is concerned at the growing number of child prostitutes in the streets of the State party’s capital. It is also concerned that the State party’s report lacks specific data on sexual exploitation and trafficking of children and information on legislation on sexual exploitation.

The Protection Project - Equatorial Guinea [DOC]

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

[Last accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - Eighty-nine percent of African countries are affected by trafficking flows to and from other countries in Africa. In 34 percent of African countries, trafficking also takes place to Europe, and in 26 percent, trafficking flows to the Middle East.  Half of Africa’s 53 governments admit that trafficking is a serious concern. Because those governments have little capacity to collect data; however, there are no reliable statistics on the problem. Eighty percent of countries on the continent have reported internal trafficking to meet a demand for cheap household and farm labor and prostitution.  The number of African countries reporting trafficking in children is twice the number of those countries reporting trafficking in women.


2017 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 20 April 2018

accessed 22 March 2019]

accessed 26 June 2019]


Forced labor occurred. Men and women from Cameroon, Benin, and other neighboring countries, as well as from the Dominican Republic and Cuba, were recruited for work, and some were subsequently subjected to forced labor. Often they were not compensated as agreed upon, and their passports were confiscated. In one publicized case, a high-level member of the president’s cabinet severely beat an employee of one of his private businesses when she demanded payment. He then returned her passport and forced her to leave the country. Another employer attracted foreign workers by falsely promising to provide them with employment contracts necessary for obtaining work permits. When workers resigned to take other, more secure jobs, the employer contacted police to have the workers deported, which would have occurred if the new employers had not intervened to prevent deportation.

Companies in the construction sector, among others, held the passports of their foreign workers, a possible indication of forced labor


The law was not effectively enforced, and penalties were not sufficient to deter violations. Children were transported from nearby countries--primarily Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Togo, and Gabon--and forced to work as domestic workers, market laborers, ambulant vendors, launderers, and beggars. The government occasionally provided social services on an ad hoc basis to children found working in markets. Attention to school attendance generally focused more on citizen children than on their foreign peers.

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 8 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS –Trafficking victims had no access to health care; they generally worked on the streets or in agriculture.

Traffickers took advantage of the African tradition of placing children with relatives or friends in other regions or countries to advance the children's and the family's academic and economic prospects. Many parents throughout West and Central Africa were overwhelmed by the conditions of poverty and looked to the country with its new oil wealth as a good place for their children to earn money. Traffickers also preyed upon the cultural view of work as socialization and preparation for adulthood. Children usually started working in their own families' households by the age of six. Traffickers gained the confidence of parents in countries of origin by presenting themselves as successful people with the promise of improving the family's plight through apprenticeships and schooling. The traffickers were often well known and respected in the community, and they offered families the opportunity for supplementary income.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery - Equatorial Guinea",, [accessed <date>]