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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                       

Burkina Faso

One of the poorest countries in the world, landlocked Burkina Faso has few natural resources and a weak industrial base. About 90% of the population is engaged in subsistence agriculture, which is vulnerable to periodic drought. Cotton is the main cash crop.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: Description: BurkinaFaso

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



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 aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  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.


An Increasing Number Of Young People, Aged 15 To 24, Live On The Margins Of Society

Sarah Tanou, Burkina Faso, April 2002 -- Anb-Bia Supplement, Issue/Edition Nr 435 - 01/06/2002

[accessed 11 April 2011]

In Burkina, street children plunge some areas of towns into zones where there is a great deal of aggression.  They are generally organized in gangs.  They threaten with flick-knives, their favorite victims being pedestrians.  Some of these youth restrict their activities to having a «fix». Many of them meet almost every night in front of bars to smoke hash or traffic in drugs.  They become precocious delinquents and have very disturbing records. Theft seems to be their principal activity, specializing in picking pockets, stealing mobile phones, and stealing parts of cars or motorbikes, with the complicity of adults.


*** ARCHIVES ***

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 24 January 2011]

CURRENT GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND PROGRAMS TO ELIMINATE THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR - The Government of Burkina Faso is implementing a 10-Year Basic Education Development Plan (2001-2010) as part of its Poverty Reduction Strategy supported by the World Bank.  The plan focuses on improving primary school enrollment, literacy, and school attendance rates.  Burkina Faso has been formally endorsed for funding through the Education For All – Fast Track Initiative process, and as part of its efforts, has classified 20 provinces with low enrollment for priority action.

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 7 February 2020]

CHILDREN - The government allotted approximately 25 percent of the national budget to education, and the law provides for free compulsory primary education until the age of 16; however, the government lacked the means to provide universal, free primary education. If a child qualified on the basis of grades and social condition (that is, the family was "poor"), tuition-free education could continue through junior high and high school. Children still were responsible for paying for school supplies, which often cost significantly more than tuition. Many parents could not afford to lose a child's labor in the fields or at other remunerative jobs; as a result, overall school enrollment was approximately 57 percent (51 percent for girls).

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) - 2002

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 4 October 2002

[accessed 24 January 2011]

[56] The Committee notes the pilot project involving UNICEF and non-governmental organizations to deal with the issue of street children, but expresses its concern at the increasing number of street children and at the lack of a systematic and comprehensive strategy to address this situation and to provide these children with adequate assistance

Burkina Faso: Fresh Approach to Street Children

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Ouagadougou, 8 May 2008

[accessed 10 March 2015]

Thousands of children, some as young as seven years old, come to the country's cities from rural areas and end up living on the streets.

An increasing number the street children are girls, said Joel Kargougou, a former street child who now runs a local NGO for orphaned children called AMPO.  "Girls are most vulnerable and some of them may be HIV positive or pregnant and so they are not accepted in their home villages."  Many children end up on the streets when their parents migrate to find work or they are pushed by their families because of poverty.

Information about Street Children [DOC]

based on a paper submitted by Tissons, ANERSER (Association Nationale pour l’Education et la Réinsertion des Enfants des Rues), CREDO (Christian Relief and Development Organisation), OMEEB (Organisation Musulmane pour l’Epanouissement des Enfants au Burkina), Solidarité Jeunes IAEMO and MAEJT – Burkina Faso and is taken from “A Civil Society Forum for Francophone Africa on Promoting and Protecting the Rights of Street Children”, 2-5 June 2004, Senegal

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

[accessed 21 September 2011]

In 2002, a survey found 2,000 children living on the streets between the ages of 7-21, of which 62% were between the ages of 13 and 18 and 24% between 7 and 12.  The older street population exerts a great deal of influence over young arrivals, and the latter tend to depend on them for much of their protection.  Factors pushing children onto the streets:  poverty, population explosion, rural migration, enrolment in Koranic schools, increasing abuse and neglect within the family, and the consequences of HIV/AIDS.

Reports to Treaty Bodies - Committee on the Rights of the Child

Produced by Human Rights Internet, FOR THE RECORD 2002 - THE UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS SYSTEM, Volume 2: Africa

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

[accessed 21 September 2011]

The Committee also noted with concern: the increasing number of street children and the lack of a systematic and comprehensive strategy to address this situation and to provide these children with adequate assistance; the increasing number of child victims of commercial sexual exploitation, including prostitution and pornography; the insufficient programs for the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of child victims of such abuse and exploitation; the absence of juvenile courts and juvenile judges, and the limited number of social workers and teachers working in this field

Save the Children Canada Annual Report 2005-2006 [PDF]

Save the Children Canada Annual  Report  2005-2006

[accessed 11 April 2011]

[accessed 24 November 2016]

 [page 15]  WEST & EAST AFRICA - BURKINA FASO - Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world, where even basic services such as health care is not available for most, and the scourge of HIV/AIDS looms large. Since 1995, Save the Children Canada has supported non-formal education programs in various regions of the country. Thousands of very young children do not have access to schools, or must migrate to urban centers and enter the labour force in order to survive. Save the Children Canada's Training and Education against Trafficking (TREAT) Project in Burkina Faso strives to reduce the risks of the worst forms of child labour, including child trafficking, in four regions, ensuring the enrolment and graduation of children at risk. The main objective is to reinforce and develop both non-formal and formal education capacity. The project has created new schools, developed new curricula, and established local awareness-raising committees to take action against child trafficking in their own communities.

Burkina Faso: Government Tackles Rising Number of Abandoned Children

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, 6 April 2004

[accessed 10 March 2015]

According to government statistics, there were 2.1 million orphans and abandoned children in Burkina Faso last year. They accounted for nearly 18 percent of the country's 11.8 million population.  The perils for orphaned and unprotected children are numerous.  Thousands each year end up as street children who beg to survive. – htsc

BURKINA FASO: Project to help street children - OCHA IRIN

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN

[accessed 10 March 2015]

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) has announced that it will run a five-year project aimed at transforming the lives of some 1,200 disadvantaged children in two of Burkina Faso's towns, Bobo-Dioulasso and Hounde.  Under the project, UNV teams will counsel street children, juveniles and other marginalized youth on educational and vocational options that can improve their prospects.

Helping Street Children + Providing Care

Médecins Sans Frontières Australia, Nov 2004

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

[accessed 21 September 2011]

Médecins Sans Frontières is helping children and youngsters living on the streets of the capital, Ouagadoughou.  Instead of operating from a center, the team works on the streets in close proximity to these children.  Today, the program reaches 700 children and 80 teenage girls.

Low-profile Japanese volunteers reap high praise in Burkina Faso

Boureima Hama, Agence France-Presse AFP, Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, Sept 28, 2003

[accessed 11 April 2011]

Fujimoto Naohiro roams the town in search of the street urchins who typically hang about outside restaurants, movie theatres or bakers' shops.  He tries to persuade those more involved in petty crime to give up on drugs and robbery and he tries to raise their awareness of HIV-AIDS.  His colleague Kazuhiro Akashi helps the children step closer to leaving the streets.  In an effort to raise their self-awareness and stimulate positive attitudes, he enrolls them in his amateur theatrical company.  Beyond the short term, Akashi looks to place the children with host families or with a French child protection group.

Vocational Training for Young Women, Kombissiri [PDF]

Terre des Hommes Switzerland, project resume #26024 - 04.2005 -- partner: Song Taaba Association

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

[accessed 21 September 2011]

To avoid the economic and social marginalisation of young girls who have never been to school or who had to drop out early, our Partner, The Song Taaba Association has opened a Vocational Training Center.  About 60 girls and young women are trained in weaving, sewing, dyeing, etc, and also rules of behaviour and domestic economy.

The success of this Project lies equally with the involvement of the parents, aware of the necessity of further education to ensure the integration of their daughters into Burkinabe society.

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, "Street Children – Burkina Faso",, [accessed <date>]