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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                               

Republic of the Congo (ROC)

The economy is a mixture of subsistence agriculture, an industrial sector based largely on oil, and support services, and a government characterized by budget problems and overstaffing. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports.

The current administration presides over an uneasy internal peace and faces difficult economic challenges of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty.  [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 the Republic of the Congo (ROC).  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.


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

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 29 September 2006

[accessed 30 January 2011]

[68] The Committee notes with appreciation that the State party has adopted legislation whereby primary education is compulsory and free of charge. The Committee is however concerned at the insufficiency of budget allocations for pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools, and the poor quality of education. The Committee is also concerned at the common practice of parents’ associations having to support the functioning of the educational system by contributing to the salaries of teachers, as well as to the operating and investment expenditure of schools, such as building and furnishing of classrooms facilities. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned at the large number of repetition and drop-outs, overcrowded schools, the low attendance in secondary school, the insufficient number of trained teachers and available school facilities. The Committee is further concerned at the low number of children graduating from primary school and the lack of vocational training for children, in particular those who drop out of school. Finally, the Committee is concerned at the limited access of indigenous children to education.


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The Department of Labor’s 2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor [PDF]

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2007

[accessed 2 November 2010]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Children work with their families on farms or in informal business activities.1122 In Brazzaville and other urban centers, there are significant numbers of street children, primarily from the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, who engage in street vending and begging. There were isolated cases of children involved in commercial sexual exploitation.1123 There are unconfirmed accounts of trafficking into the Republic of Congo of “minor relatives” of immigrants from West Africa.1124 Children from West Africa reportedly work as domestic servants, fishermen, shop workers, and street sellers.

Human Rights Reports » 2006 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 6, 2007

[accessed 7 February 2020]

CHILDREN - There were isolated cases of child prostitution among street children. The prevalence of the problem remained unclear. According to reports from international and local NGOs and other observers, these cases were not linked to trafficking but were efforts by some street children to survive. International organizations assisted with programs to feed and shelter street children.

During the year the number of street children remained approximately the same. In 2004 the United Nations Children's Fund estimated that most of the street children in Brazzaville were from the DRC, as were some of those in Pointe Noire. Street children were not known to suffer from targeted abuse by government authorities or vigilante groups, but they were vulnerable to sexual exploitation and often fell prey to criminal elements such as drug smugglers. Many street children begged or sold cheap or stolen goods to support themselves.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, 12/05/2000

[accessed 19 September 2011]

21. The Committee expresses its grave concern regarding the decline of the standard of health in the Republic of the Congo. The AIDS epidemic is now taking its toll on the country, while the ongoing financial crisis has resulted in a serious shortage of funds for public health services, and for improving the water and sanitation infrastructure in urban areas. The war has caused serious damage to health facilities in Brazzaville. According to a joint study of the WHO and UNAIDS, some 100,000 Congolese, including over 5,000 children, were affected with the HIV virus at the beginning of 1997. More than 80,000 people are thought to have died from AIDS, with 11,000 deaths reported in 1997 alone. Some 45,000 children are said to have lost either their mother or both parents as a result of the epidemic.

CONGO: More children on the streets

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Pointe-Noire, 24 July 2008

[accessed 10 March 2015]

The children are part of a growing number living on Congo's streets, say specialists. According to Florent Niama, managing director of the NGO l'Action Sociale, their number is estimated at around 3,000, but the phenomenon "is growing in [Congo's] cities".  And it is not just in Pointe-Noire, where the NGO Samu Social estimates more than 500 live on the streets, or in the capital, Brazzaville. In Dolisie, a city in the southwest, hundreds of children fend for themselves each day.  Analysts attribute the growing phenomenon to deteriorating social conditions within the family, witchcraft and parental negligence. Armed conflicts in the country had also contributed, they add.

According to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), Congo has continued to feel the effects of a decade-long brutal civil war that ended in 2003, displaced millions of people and ravaged the economy.  The war left in its wake thousands of children without birth certificates, young girls with babies from unknown fathers, and child soldiers needing demobilisation and reintegration into civil society.

The Protection Project - Republic of the Congo (ROC) [DOC]

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

[accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - Evidence suggests that hundreds of children from the Republic of the Congo, from the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, and from some West African states are used as domestic servants and street sellers in the Republic of the Congo.

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