Torture in  [Madagascar]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Madagascar]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Madagascar]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Madagascar]  [other countries]

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2018                  

Democratic Republic of Madagascar

Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, is a mainstay of the economy, accounting for more than one-fourth of GDP and employing 80% of the population. Exports of apparel have boomed in recent years primarily due to duty-free access to the US.

Poverty reduction and combating corruption will be the centerpieces of economic policy for the next few years.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Madagascar

Madagascar is a source country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Children, mostly from rural areas, are trafficked within the country for domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, forced marriage, forced labor for traveling vendors, and possibly forced labor in mining, fishing, and agriculture. Some child sex trafficking occurs with the involvement of family members, friends, transport operators, tour guides, and hotel workers. A child sex tourism problem exists in coastal cities, including Tamatave, Nosy Be, and Diego Suarez, as well as the capital city of Antananarivo; - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009  [full country report]


CAUTION: The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Madagascar.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.


Gem industry in need of regulation

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Ilakaka, 17 September 2003

[accessed 19 February 2011]

One of the most disturbing aspects of Madagascar's gem industry has been the use of children to work in the mines. A report by the International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), a branch of the International Labour Organisation, has warned that children as young as eight are being used in mines - because they can get into the cramped spaces in the mines more easily than an adult.

The report noted that children are often exposed to very serious dangers and can, for example, die of suffocation if the mine caves in.  Dominique Rakotomanga, who works for IPEC in the capital, Antananarivo, told IRIN: "This is a really big problem, especially in Ilakaka. We are trying to raise awareness about the problem, find alternative ways for the children to make a living, and ensure that they don't miss out on their education. But because of the poverty here and elsewhere, it is very tempting for them to work underground."


*** ARCHIVES ***

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 3   Civil Liberties: 4   Status: Partly Free

2018 Edition

[accessed 13 February 2019]


According to the U.S. State Department’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report, Madagascar has recently reduced efforts to combat human trafficking. Government officials were implicated in colluding with trafficking offenders, and no effort was made to investigate the allegations. These included claims of a network within the government that was helping to facilitate child sex trafficking through the forgery of identity papers.

National birth registration campaign launched

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Johannesburg, 4 June 2004

[accessed 9 March 2015]

The Madagascar government and aid partners on Friday launched a national birth registration campaign to secure full rights of citizenship for the country's children.

The Indian Ocean island is one of the poorest countries in the world, with most of its population surviving on less than US $1 a day.  "Not having a birth certificate means that a person is not recognised by the state. This limits access to education, employment opportunities and a host of other social services," UNICEF communication officer, Misbah Sheikh, told IRIN

UNICEF and world legislators urge action against child exploitation

Agence France-Presse AFP, Mexico City, April 21, 2004

[accessed 19 February 2011]

"More than two million children throughout the world are victims of commercial sexual exploitation," said UNICEF director Edwin Judd.  "Children are bought, sold, traded, and bartered or see no alternative but to sell themselves. The sex trade has no borders. Children from rich as well as poor countries are exploited," he said.  Judd said that, according to UNICEF research, between 30 percent and 50 percent of prostitutes in Madagascar are children.

Madagascar breaks child traffic ring

Tim Healy, BBC News, Antananarivo, 16 April 2004

[accessed 19 February 2011]

Police in Madagascar have rescued 11 babies between the ages of three weeks and nine months who were in the process of being sent abroad.

The eight accused Malagasy men are alleged to be part of an illegal adoption ring that offers financial incentives of up to $800 for every young baby they find.  Mr Rakotondravao said this can be partly attributed to poverty as poor young single mothers are prepared to give up a child in return for cash.

Efforts to stop child trafficking

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Johannesburg, 20 September 2004

[accessed 9 March 2015]

In the past year police have reportedly smashed five networks dealing in the illicit adoption of children aged between two months and 10 years, mainly destined for Europe, where they were sold for about US $800 each.

Madagascar launches campaign to end child sex exploitation

UNICEF Press Centre, Madagascar, 10 December 2003

[accessed 19 February 2011]

At the official launch of a national  campaign to end child sexual exploitation in Madagascar, UNICEF and ILO presented the resumes of three studies that highlighted the sexual exploitation of children in Madagascar. According to the UNICEF-sponsored study, between 30 per cent to 50 per cent of all sex workers in two of country's main cities, Nosy Be and Tamatave, were children under the age of 18.

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 19 February 2011]

CHILD LABOR LAWS AND ENFORCEMENT - Forced or bonded labor by children is prohibited under the Labor Code.  The Penal Code prohibit engaging in sexual activities of any type with children under the age of 14, and the production and dissemination of pornographic materials showing minors is illegal.  The government does not have comprehensive legislation prohibiting trafficking in persons.

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 19 February 2011]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – The law does not specifically prohibit trafficking in persons, and there were reports of trafficking in women and girls for prostitution between the country and the neighboring islands of Mauritius and Reunion. Children also were trafficked from rural areas to work as prostitutes in urban centers. Traffickers may be prosecuted under provisions of the penal and labor codes that prohibit pedophilia and sexual tourism; however, there were no reports during the year of arrests for trafficking. The Ministry of Justice is responsible for enforcement.

There were several cases of kidnapping, and politicians from the south claimed that children were being sold for up to $3,200 (16 million ariary) for overseas adoption or forced labor.

During the year the government took several steps to combat trafficking. In May the government passed a new adoption law, in part to protect children from being trafficked under the guise of adoption. The government also continued to construct welcome centers for the victims of trafficking and forced labor. The government listed the fight against trafficking as one of its key objectives and created a strategy during the year to address child labor and trafficking in each part of the country.

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

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 3 October 2003

[accessed 19 February 2011]

[42] The Committee is concerned that there is very little interest in simple adoption in the State party leading to various types of informal adoption such as “god-parenting” that are not conducive to full respect for children’s rights.  The Committee further welcomes the establishment of the inter-ministerial commission on inter-country adoption, but remains concerned that inter-country adoptions are not properly followed up.

[61] While welcoming the adoption of Act 98-024 of 25 January 1999 amending the Penal Code and other efforts undertaken by the State party to combat child trafficking through a national program, and in particular the adoption of a travel document with five other countries of the region, the Committee is deeply concerned at the number of trafficked children who are exploited in the State party and in neighboring countries.

The Protection Project – Madagascar [PDF]

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

[accessed 24 February 2016]

A Human Rights Report on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children

U.S. Library of Congress - Country Study

Library of Congress Call Number DS349.8 .I5 1995

[accessed 13 February 2019]

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery - Madagascar",, [accessed <date>]



Torture in  [Madagascar]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Madagascar]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Madagascar]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Madagascar]  [other countries]